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6 Tips for a Qualified Oncology Massage Therapist

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    Posted: Dec 27 2012 at 6:47pm
Start Out the New Year with a Massage!
Six Tips for Finding a Qualified Oncology Massage Therapist
• • •
It has been known for thousands of years that massage feels good, is helpful for the acute relief 
of pain, stress, and other symptoms, and is safe if given by an appropriately trained professional. 
But do you find yourself wondering, “How do I find a massage therapist who will take my cancer 
and cancer treatment related concerns into consideration?” Whether you’re a massage veteran or 
contemplating massage for the first time, finding a qualified therapist can seem daunting.


1. Consult Your Oncologist
To ensure coordinated and safe care, you should consult your primary 
oncologist before having a massage. The physician can address any 
concerns and if oncology massage can appropriately be integrated with 
your plan of care, ask your physician to request massage services from 
the Integrative Medicine Center via Online Consults. If you’ll be seeing 
a therapist in your home community, then you can request a written 
order to give to your oncology massage therapist. 

2. Find an Oncology Massage Therapist
It is important to find a therapist who has specific education. 
The Society for Oncology Massage maintains a searchable roster of 
oncology massage therapists who meet basic training and practice 
standards, on their website at www.s4om.org. 

3. Ask About Their Training
Oncology massage training is provided in different settings – 
in comprehensive cancer centers such as MD Anderson and also 
in the community. Minimum requirements is massage licensure 
and completion of 24 hours training in Oncology Massage, including 
a basic study of cancer, treatments, side effects, challenges 
patients face, necessary massage technique modifications, and 
hands on practice.

4. Ask About Their Oncology Massage Experience
Direct experience working with cancer patients is important. 
How many years have they been practicing massage and what 
percentage of their practice is devoted to oncology massage?

5. Do They Specialize in a Particular Massage Modality?
They must be experienced in gentle pressure massage. Is the 
basis of their practice gentle or deep pressure technique? 

6. How will They Modify Massage for You?
Ask what modifications they would make for you. Note what 
type of questions they ask you in return. These should include 
questions about your diagnosis, treatments, diagnostic tests, 
blood values, symptoms, your activity level, and any restrictions 
you may have. 

Oncology massage is safe and effective at helping people feel 
better during challenging times. Find a qualified massage therapist 
today and you’re on your way to experiencing a peaceful reprieve 
from the stress of cancer through oncology massage.
Schedule your massage at the Integrative Medicine Center!  
Massage is available for patients, family members, and caregivers
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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