The importance of adapted massage techniques for those living with and beyond cancer
“So many choices have been taken away during treatment that it is important that complementary therapy is not also delivered prescriptively.”
Janice, 60, had been diagnosed with cancer of the Thymus in 2016. She had received chemotherapy treatments and was in remission at the time of being a case study for Jennifer Young Training School oncology massage-trained therapist, Harriet.
Janice’s main reason for wanting to be Harriet’s case study was to enjoy an adapted cancer massage treatment that she was able to choose without fear of being turned away. Janice had been experiencing anxiety and fear since her experience with cancer, and hoped that the adapted oncology massage would reduce this and enhance her sense of wellbeing, as well as aiding relaxation.
Janice was happy that she could receive support from her therapist, and enjoyed having a much needed break from her home and the medical environment she had previously spent time in. Janice mentioned to Harriet how lovely it was to feel nourished and cared for.
Harriet discussed how she felt, as a therapist, about being able to give adapted massage to individuals affected by cancer
“the importance of adapting treatment was paramount. Not only may people have a cancer diagnosis but they may also have other comorbidities which will influence treatment. This lady could not lie prone but also because of her unrelated hip problem found it difficult to get on and off the couch.
So, treatment was also adapted in the chair with support of pillows. Maintaining the client’s comfort is of the utmost importance to ensure that the treatment is a collaborative one, allowing her choice and feeling determination for the client.
So many choices have been taken away during treatment that it is important that complementary therapy is not also delivered prescriptively.”