The industry is reeling after hearing of a client feeling discriminated against when being turned away from a Centerparcs spa treatment. The wish of those living with and beyond cancer to feel ‘normal’ is the reason I developed our accredited oncology qualifications for spas and individual therapists. It is wrong that this client was not able to enjoy a spa in the same way as others. However the lawyer in me* completely supports Centerparcs in being unable to treat her.
At the time of the visit the therapists at Centerparcs did not have specialist training and would not have been insured to work with anyone who had been diagnosed with cancer. For me, whilst insurance is important, and, as we know, compulsory, the maxim ‘first do no harm’ is a better guiding message. Usually, if one is doing no harm, insurance will follow.
In order to work safely and appropriately with cancer patients, already qualified therapists need specialist training. With the right qualification, therapists can do great good. All of the evidence points to improved wellness, physically and emotionally, when someone living with or beyond cancer receives a specialist beauty or holistic therapy.
I created our specialist post-graduate diplomas in oncology therapies, many years ago, as I felt the world of beauty needed to change. It was not right that spas and therapists were turning away the people who needed them most, just because there was no training available to allow them to welcome those affected by cancer.
We offer around 16 fully insurable and accredited qualifications ranging from manicure and pedicure to aromatherapy and oncology massage. The Jennifer Young Training School has open courses for individual therapists and in-house courses for larger salons, clinics and spas. Our training is internationally recognised and available in a number of countries.
I really feel for this spa client and her disappointment at being turned away. All of those affected by cancer should be welcomed. I know that the industry is changing and more and more professionals are gaining the qualifications needed to work anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis.
I hope that, in the face of the media interest, and the fear of being sued for acting in exactly the way we have been taught to behave, we all remember that we can welcome those living with and beyond cancer……..if and only if, one has achieved the appropriate level of specialist qualification.
*I have a post graduate degree in law and have, on many occasions, been invited by the Courts to advise them as an expert witness. My Legal qualifications and experience are in addition to a first degree in Biology and a second post graduate degree in occupational health and a long history of working in the field of medical research.
I am also a qualified massage therapist, aromatherapist, beauty therapist, nutritional therapist and internationally recognised master of wellness.