Massage can help ease the suffering associated with the aches and pains of cancer treatments. By learning the benefits and techniques of oncology massage techniques in the privacy of your home or office trough home study courses, massage therapists can easily implement these tools into their practice.

Treating a client’s pain through oncology massage can be learned through a variety of techniques.

Massage for cancer patients can aid in easing a wide array of symptoms that persist from chemotherapy and radiation treatments that cancer patients endure. Some of the benefits of oncology massage include reducing or eliminating nausea, general pain, fatigue and depression in clients who are undergoing cancer treatment. Some side effects in cancer treatment can cause a client to have increased anxiety, anger, depression, or develop a negative body image.

An Internet search resulted in numerous home study courses that any massage therapist can take to fulfill their continuing education requirements.

For oncology massage, basic home study courses include topics that cover cancer and neoplasia, the causes of cancer, current medical treatments for cancer, general guidelines for massage therapists, cancer types, skin health, specific massage oils, therapy protocol and cancer massage precautions.

In recent studies, massage was found to be beneficial to breast cancer patients. For the patients, breast cancer treatments include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy that can produce side effects of numbness, pain, nausea and fatigue.

The study, “Massage Relieves Nausea in Women with Breast Cancer Who Are Undergoing Chemotherapy,” monitored 39 women that had breast cancer and were undergoing chemotherapy. They were divided into two groups.

The study, which included 20-minute massages, measured the effects of skin massage on nausea, anxiety and depression. In the experimental group, the women received soft stroke massage, and patients were able to choose the location of their massage, either between the foot and lower leg or between the hand and lower arm. The control group participants did not receive massage and were visited by hospital staff for 20 minute conversations on any topic they chose.

The results showed massage reduced nausea in the breast cancer patients, but did not find an effect of massage on depression or anxiety.

Make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready