It seems cancer touches the lives of all, be it through personal illness or that of a loved one, friend, work colleague, neighbour, or acquaintance. *Macmillan estimates that there are 3 million people in the UK living with cancer, so it’s unsurprising that many of us have personal stories to tell. The annual Macmillan Coffee Morning is an opportunity to share these experiences, support those living with cancer, and remember those who we have sadly lost, as well as raise money to support the magnificent work of the Macmillan team – most especially their nurses. https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/
It is because of personal experience that our massage therapist, Hannah, looked to see how she could help cancer sufferers as a professional. She says:
“I decided to qualify as an Oncology Massage Therapist as a few members of my family have been affected by cancer. My sister being one of them. She became frustrated when trying to book a spa day as the therapists were unable to carry out a massage for her. It made her feel pretty down and frustrated. I know she’s not alone!”
Indeed, Macmillan and other cancer charities recognise this. Here is a link to Macmillan’s information page on massage and other touch therapies. Of course, providing researched information is another of the ways Macmillan supports cancer sufferers and their families. https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/treatment/coping-with-treatment/complementary-therapies/massage-or-other-touch-therapies. One of the criteria they recommend for finding a therapist is that they are trained in oncology massage and have a knowledge of cancer and how it impacts the body.
Hannah researched the available courses and chose the Jennifer Young Postgraduate Diploma in Oncology Massage. This qualification is a certified course that has been accredited by the Federation of Holistic Therapists, which means that Hannah is insured to treat cancer patients.
“I read up about Jennifer and was amazed by her passion for cancer research. She also produces her own range of skincare dedicated to cancer patients.”
“We learned about cancer itself, the effects of cancer on the body, and the side effects of treatment. We then learned a massage routine that includes the whole body and about products and oils we could use for someone who is undergoing treatment, as well as the areas to avoid if a patient has recently undergone chemotherapy. And, of course, how to understand an individual patient’s needs and how to tailor the massage treatment.”
“Whilst studying for the qualification, they showed us a questionnaire from people diagnosed with cancer. Many said at the time they needed to relax and unwind the most. Maybe after treatment or just carrying the burden of cancer, they were unable to have a massage. It was previously thought that massage spreads cancer, this however is not true. The DNA it takes for cancer to spread in the body is quite mind-blowing, and we were taught that massage itself would not be able to achieve this.”
The Cancer Research website has a detailed explanation of how our DNA contributes to the development and spread of cancer within the body http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/.
Hannah is passionate about massage and the positive effects it can have.
Massage does, however, have a relaxing effect on the mind and body. Whether it’s after an operation, treatment or just for some precious timeout. Massage has many benefits. In addition to relaxation, it can reduce anxiety, help to alleviate pain and nausea and reduce depression. Each massage can be adapted and tailored to suit the individual, and I am always happy to discuss any concerns.
**2 for 1 Offer on Oncology Massages
2 for 1 Offer on Oncology Massages throughout October and November 2023 – book your first Oncology Massage, and Hannah will give you the second for free.
**Offer not to be used in conjunction with any other offers