Recommendations and suggested questions to ask before selecting your oncology trained Massage Therapist.
- A minimum 24-hour course that includes both a knowledge component and a hands-on clinical practice in the presence of an instructor.
- Regular professional development, such as:
- Modalities specific to cancer care
- Supervised clinical experience
- Conferences that build expertise in the field of oncology care
- Tell me about your oncology massage training, like: how long was it? was it in person or online? do you take more classes to stay current with cancer care?
- How long have you worked with cancer patients?
- Ask specifically how the therapist would address your current concerns
- Health history intake. Massage should always begin with an intake and discussion of your health history, both past and present.
- Discussion of your goals. What would you like to get out of the sessions?
- Assessment. Depending on your goals, the therapist may evaluate various elements, such as range of motion or tissue pliability.
- Care plan. This should be agreed upon together and should include the modalities and techniques that will be used and the adjustments needed.
Your massage therapist will:
- Ensure your safety with standard infection prevention protocols
- Allow you to remain clothed or undress to your level of comfort
- Work to position you comfortably and safely on the massage table or chair
- Adapt to areas where pressure, positioning or other modifications are needed
- Monitor your response
- Depending upon their clinical skills they may integrate a variety of techniques to support you including: lymphatic drainage, fascial release, pain management, Reflexology, or other techniques or tools they, and you, feel are appropriate
- End the session with a request for feedback
- Follow up with your physician or insurance if required
Massage responses vary from person to person and situation to situation. It is normal to notice different sensations immediately after the session compared to the first or second day following. However, there should never be any severe adverse reactions, such as nausea, fatigue, or pain. If this happens, please report it to you therapist as soon as possible.
Typically, people report the following after a massage that has been properly adjusted:
- Improved body image
- Enhanced sense of well-being
- Decreased pain
- Diminished anxiety
- Reduced swelling
- Increased relaxation
- Improved range of motion
Please note: The information S4OM provides is general information only, it is not intended as legal, medical, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified professionals who are familiar with you and your individual needs.
To find a qualified massage therapist specializing in Oncology Massage, check the S4OM Preferred Practitioner directory.