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Oncology Massage

What is Oncology Massage?

Traditionally we have been told that massage is unsafe for people living with cancer. The general thought process was that the pressure of a massage would spread  cancer to other areas of the body(metastasis) , however if this were true  the same could be said for the impact of many other physical activities we do each and everyday.

Over time we have discovered that cancer spreads through a cellular process, not due to physical touch and a safe, therapeutic massage technique has been developed that many thousands of people access around the world to help manage  the symptoms of cancer and side effects of cancer treatment. It can be given at varying stages of the cancer treatment, including during chemotherapy, after radiation and pre and post surgery. Tumor or treatment sites will not be massaged to avoid discomfort to the affected ares.

Oncology Massage  is a very light, relaxing massage developed specifically for people with cancer or other life limiting illnesses that compromise your health or leave you feeling frail, with techniques that are adjusted according to your needs and comfort. Oncology Massage should  not have an negative side effects as long as it is delivered by a trained therapist who can tailor your treatment specifically to your needs.


What Is an Oncology Massage like?

Initially, it is important to discuss your current diagnosis and treatment with your therapist to ensure that the most appropriate treatment plan is developed. The plan will take into account your current oncology treatment, your pain levels, your most comfortable positioning on the table (front, back or side lying), your pressure concerns, current tumor sites,  and preferred length of time for treatment. A typical Oncology Massage treatment will last for an hour; however this can be adjusted according to your comfort levels.

This massage is not intended to address muscle tension and injury as per regular massage. Once you are comfortably resting on the table, your treatment will include slow, light, gentle strokes, that are specifically intended to encourage the release of the relaxation hormones. It is during the release of our relaxation hormones that we are most actively able to heal, slow our breathing, reduce blood pressure and relax muscles.  This helps to reduce the stress hormones that dominate our body during times of stress, pain and inflammation and allows the body to rest.

What can I expect to feel after an Oncology Massage?

Common responses to an Oncology Massage can include :  

  • Improving the quality and duration of sleep

  • Provides a safe space to express feelings and emotions

  • Helps to feel whole again

  • Inspires a feeling of  positivity

  • Helps induce relaxation

  • Helps to heal and normalize scar tissue

  • Reduces Pain

  • Increases alertness and mental clarity

  • Reduces nausea

  • Reduces fatigue

  • Helps manage anxiety

  • Improves range of movement   

  • Helps to reduce altered nerve sensations around surgical or radiated areas

  • Helps reduce headache


Can Oncology Massage help with Cording?

  • refers to a rope like structure that can develop under the skin at the axilla  and run down the length of the arm, sometimes to the wrist.

It can occur after breast cancer surgery that involves the removal of lymph nodes. Chording can feel firm to the touch, and become thick and visible, restricting range of movement  in your arm and shoulder

You may notice a sharp pain in the axilla, typically when the arm is stretched or raised above shoulder height. The cause of cording is still unknown  but massage and low level laser therapy have been shown to be effective treatments.


At your  appointment we will:

  • Collect a health history review

  • Record Limb measurement if lymphoedema is present

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage

  • Information on risk factors, self-massage, and self-care at home

Oncology Massage Prices

Please note that the allocated time for all therapies includes time for discussion of current issues, assessment and table time.

Please note that oncology massage appointments cannot be done in less than an hour.

  • 90 minute initial intake $130

  • 60 minute appointment $90

Depending on your private health fund and coverage you may be eligible to claim services under Extras.

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