“Listening is a creative force. Something quite wonderful occurs when we are listened to fully. We expand, ideas come to life and grow, we remember who we are. Some speak of this force as a creative fountain within us that springs forth; others call it the inner spirit, intelligence, true self. Whatever this force is called, it shrivels up when we are not listened to and it thrives when we are.” —Kay Lindahl

When they asked him why he [agreed to receive massage], he said, “... because she looked at me, right in the eyes, and I thought maybe I was supposed to be touched today.”                        -Meg Robsahm

"Touch was never meant to be a luxury. It is a basic human need. It is an action that validates life and gives hope to both the receiver and the giver. The healing of touch is reciprocal."  –Irene Smith

"Wonder is almost always possible.  Control may not be."                                                                                                              -Arthur Frank, At the Will of the Body

"We can be highly therapeutic simply by showing up, leaning forward and listening attentively."  -Ira Byock, MD

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."  -Lily Tomlin


S4OM was conceived in 2007 at the first national meeting of oncology massage therapists in Toledo, Ohio.  Whether you’ve been personally diagnosed with cancer, are a survivor, friend or family member, a medical professional, massage therapist or someone affected in some other way by cancer, you’ve found the go-to place for all things oncology massage. These pages explain the steadily advancing body of knowledge that underlies oncology massage, the remarkable benefits of massage for people affected by cancer and its growing acceptance within the medical and patient support communities.  Thank you.

About Us

The Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) exists to support and educate massage therapists, consumers, and health professionals about the value and specific considerations and applications of oncology massage.  When it comes to oncology massage we answer the questions, "What is it?"  "Why is it?" and "Where is it?".

Our Vision

To ease the journey through cancer

Our Mission

  • Support the safe delivery of massage to people who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Promote an oncology massage education standard
  • Collaborate in research

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