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Posted by Rachael Priest, May 31 2012 11:29PM

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Reflexology - Post cancer treatment


I've been asked to do a course of reflexology treatments for one of my regular clients who is recovering from bowel cancer. He has surgery and is or is about to go through chemo. They told me that it is offered by the nhs as part of the recovery programme but I have asked to okay it with the doctor prior just to make 100% sure it's okay to continue.

I've haven't carried out a treatment under these circumstances before, if anyone has any advice or anything that I should be aware of I would be very grateful.
Should I do a lighter more relaxing treatment and ease off the areas that are currently affected/under treatment?

Many thanks

Gloria Flannery
Aug 2 2012 12:21AM
Hi Rachael, you are right to get the doctors input. By all means you can do reflexology if the op site is healed. There are anecdotal reports that reflexology helps when getting chemo. It reduces the effects of sickness and exhaustion. The hands on treatment is very soothing and relaxing and can help to take the clients mind of their treatment, even if only for the duration of the treatment. The feet can be quite sensitive when clients are going through the stages of treatment so you would need to be very aware of how much they can take. You may have to give them shorter sessions or reduce pressure. It is, also important to make sure that the client is in a comfortable position. There is a very good book you might like to invest in, Reflexology for Cancer Patients published by the the Israeli Forum of Reflexology. It is very enlightening. To quote from the book," How much we can do for another human being when we humbly respect and help him find his natural reserves to facilitate the healing process. Reflexology is safe, is positive and promotes self healing. It can help make the change between suffering and healing, between desperation and hope, between anguish and happiness."
I hope this has been a little help to you. I am sure it will be very rewarding both to you and your client.
Angel's Blessings,
Lesley Ashead
Feb 27 2013 10:35AM
Hi I saw your post which was some time ago.. But I work for St Christopher's Hospice and we run a course called Cancer and Palliative Care for Complementary Therpists which is being held again on 18 June 2013.

Topics will include:

cancer and the cancer journey
the palliative care approach
communication issues
adaptation of complementary therapies and
self-care for the therapist.
Application will be made for this course to be approved by Complementary Therapists Association (CThA) at an advanced level.

NB This day offers an introduction to adapting therapies to the cancer and palliative care setting and does not involve practical demonstrations.

For more information, please vist

Tracy O'Flaherty

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