One in three people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.* However, progress in treating cancer has meant that more and more patients are focussing on quality of life, not just survival.
Massage therapies, such as Swedish massage, myofascial release and reflexology, have great benefits for anyone with cancer or recovering from treatment. They are unique in their ability to promote physical, emotional and psychological healing in all stages of cancer. Skilled touch can lend emotional support as well as reduce pain and other physical discomfort. Comforting, attentive, gentle massage is a reminder that your body can still be a source of pleasure and, as you relax, pain, fatigue and nausea diminish.
I have undertaken training in massage for people living with cancer. Safety and comfort is paramount in massage for cancer patients. Depending on the stage of cancer treatment, I will consider how much pressure to apply, your body position, which areas to treat, and how long the session should last. Bodywork during cancer treatment, and immediately after, should be undemanding, supportive and soothing. As your energy returns, massage sessions can improve function through range of motion and scar tissue release techniques, and will help re-establish a positive body image.
I was taught by Gayle MacDonald, a teacher and cancer massage therapist since 1994, and author of ‘Medicine Hands – massage therapy for people with cancer’, and she is registered under Disclosure Scotland’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme.
I practice from my relaxed and comfortable consulting room in the leafy Hermitage area of Morningside, Edinburgh.