By, Maria Pena, Massage Therapist at Reflex Spinal Health.
I completed a Cancer Massage Therapy Course (Oncology Massage) in May 2017. I am very excited to offer cancer massage therapy in Reading. This followed on from my work as a volunteer for the Disability Foundation. This charity is based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex. They offer complementary therapies for patients on the wards, one of those wards being the cancer care ward.
Cancer Massage Therapy is of particular interest to me as I have my own personal cancer experience and find complementary therapy to be extremely beneficial. Chemotherapy is essentially killing not only the bad cancer cells but also the good cells in your body. This is obviously essential in trying to beat the disease but wreaks havoc on your body and well-being. By having complementary therapy treatments I felt that I could help my body in trying to heal without having to add any more toxins. Mentally it helped me feel stronger and able to deal with things in a more positive way. Personally I tried Reiki, reflexology and massage depending on how I was feeling at the time.
A diagnosis of cancer is life changing and brings up a whole range of emotions. These can change over time or during treatment and when treatment has finished. Everyone will have different feelings and deal with them in their own way. For me there were times when I felt strong and positive and other times when I felt completely isolated, alone and numb. Waiting for test results to come back were some of the hardest times. I continued throughout my treatment to work part-time as a tennis coach. My mornings would be spent at the hospital and in the afternoons I was at work trying to carry on with my life, appearing to everyone to be completely normal, at times it all seemed a little surreal.
I am extremely grateful to have had a handful of friends who allowed me to talk about what I was going through. I find it really helpful talking to people who have gone through, or are going through treatment. Understanding what I was trying to deal with is only possible if you have personally experienced it.
Some people may worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body but no research has proven this to be true. Many cancer centres and hospitals in the UK now offer different types of cancer massage therapy.
The aim of massage therapy is to relax you mentally and physically by:
A therapist may treat your whole body or concentrate on a specific part such as your head, neck or shoulders. People with cancer should avoid very deep massage.
For those with cancer it is important during a massage treatment to avoid:
It is also important to only have gentle massage if:
If you, or a friend or loved one, is living with cancer then this specialised form of massage therapy may really help them to relax and feel calm. If you have any questions, please contact the centre on 0118 946 2100 and ask to speak to, or leave a message for, Maria Pena and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.