Massage for People
Living with Cancer
A Basic Training Course for Massage Practitioners and Students, Bodyworkers,
and Other Professional Touch Therapists
by Gayle MacDonald
Instructors: OMEA staff
Course Description: Comfort-oriented massage or touch can be administered to people with cancer regardless of the severity of their condition. The purpose of this class is to train touch therapists in the basics of oncology massage. The experience derived from this training will create new-found confidence in bodyworkers about working with clients, particularly private practice clients, who have cancer or are recovering from it. Therapists who focus on hospice and hospital work will also find this course to be valuable for their special needs patients.
The curriculum includes information on:
opening the heart to those with serious illness
adjustments that must be made for clients who:
are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation or who have a history of it
have had surgical or medical procedures
are at risk for lymphedema
how to perform intake with clients who have a history of cancer treatment
supervised massage session with a person who has undergone cancer treatment
Significant time is devoted to hands-on practice with the culminating activity to give a relaxation massage to someone with cancer or a history of cancer.
Enrollment Requirement: The course is open to licensed, certified, or professional massage therapists; massage students enrolled in a professional training program who have completed Swedish Massage I or the equivalent; bodyworkers certified in other non-invasive, gentle modalities; or other therapists by permission of the instructor.
Because each minute of time available to us in class is precious, some advance reading is required from
Medicine Hands: Massage for People with Cancer, 3rd Edition (2014, Findhorn Press).
Be sure you have the 3rd Edition. It can be ordered using the Amazon link at the S4OM website:
S4OM.org. The following sections should be read before attending
All of Chapter 4: The Side Effects of Cancer Treatment: Why The Need for a Less Demanding Approach
All of Chapter 5: Pressure, Site and Position: An Organizational Framework
All of Chapter 7: First Do No Harm: Adjusting for the Common Side Effects of Cancer Treatments
All of Chapter 8: The New Normal: The Role of Massage During Recovery.
Look at the
Class Schedule to see current
offerings of this course.