Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Clare Pointer, Dec 29 2011 11:52AM

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Client with Cervical Cancer

Dear All,

Recently I have been contacted by a lady who has cervical cancer. She would like a full body massage using aromatherapy oils. At the moment, she is in the process of asking her doctors whether they would recommend a massage and to get a doctor's note if they do think it's suitable. I have suggested trying an Indian Head Massage first, therefore concentrating on the upper part of the body. I will wait though to see what the doctors feel first.

There are so many myths and facts about massaging clients with cancer and I would like to know other people's experiences please. Some information states that only lymphatic cancer can be spread by massage, whereas others say it's best to do no massage whatsoever.

Personally, I am a firm believer that by doing things with good intentions, only good will happen. Massage is obviously great for relaxation and promoting good happy feelings and closeness, especially during such difficulties. This lady has been turned flat down by 6 other massage therapists in the area because she mentioned about the cancer- however, they didn't even ask for the doctor's advice or more details about the type of cancer. This lady said she feels let down that people are treating her like an alien, not wanting contact with her, as they say they are too scared about not being covered by their insurance. However, like she says- this is when she needs support the most!

What do you all feel about this? I would appreciate your views to try to help me understand differences in opinion on this matter.

All the Best to you all during this Festive time,
Clare
Chandrika Patel
Dec 29 2011 12:39PM
I have given massages to patients with cancer and it is safe as long as you make sure it is very light strokes.
The touch makes cancer patients very relaxed. But of course you also have to have confirmation from her doctor.

Chandrika Patel
Amanda Clegg
Dec 29 2011 1:12PM
our local hospital has a wonderful cancer support unit, The Fountain Centre, where they use lots of massage and aromatherapy - therapists volunteer and as it's a charity it's free - or donation. I would see if yours does also, and ask their advice - message me via my business listing and I'll put you in touch with a therapist friend who works there.
Victoria Page
Dec 29 2011 10:00PM
I did a Pallative day's training and we covered massage prior to giving treatments to cancer patients and those in remission. It was wonderful to see the ladies I worked with so enjoy their very gentle aromatherapy massage. It was all organised by a hospice so the dr's approval was all taken care of. I personally enjoy working on people with conditions/illnesses of all kinds as these are the people who really need that extra 'healing' touch.

Good luck with your work and I hope you get to work with this particular lady, especially as she's been turned away by others :)
Rose Player
Dec 30 2011 8:37PM
I have worked as a volunteer in a cancer therapy centre and have massaged those with cervical cancer, under guidance. I have also taken massage courses at Christies and a Palliative care course. I agree that now is the time the person needs care the most, and massage therapy is one of the few physical interventions open to the patient that doesn't demand anything of their body (blood tests, chemo, injections etc). You may also find that the time you give them also allows them to open their minds and relax a bit - its not just about the physical side. Good luck with it - you will find you receive as much as you give. I hope this helps.

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