Oncology and Palliative Care Massage

Massage therapy is considered safe for palliative care. Within the terms of scope of practice, it offers neither cure nor treatment of a specific disease or ailment.  Our massage therapists strive to alleviate, through the use of appropriate touch, symptoms like muscle ache and joint pain. Massage therapy improves circulation of blood and lymph, provides stress reduction and helps to quiet the sympathetic nervous system, while stimulating the parasympathetic system and encouraging the body to relax.

Our therapists Rachel and Georgia at our Massey clinic have received training in Oncology Massage,  we recognise at Top Notch that this in an important skill set to offer our clients.  We are also providers of Sweet Louise.

Massage for Medically Frail or Terminally Ill Clients
When a massage therapist works with medically frail clients or clients who are terminally ill, the work performed takes on a much different purpose when compared to a healthy client coming in for health maintenance purposes. Often the touch is much lighter and offered as much for psychological comfort as for easing physical pain. In many situations the only touch they have received has been either cold and clinical or painful. Simply gentle rubbing of a person’s back can soothe anxiety and increase comfort.

Another important aspect in working with chronically ill or terminal clients is making sure the massage therapist has a thorough knowledge of treatment plans by other team members, which would include knowing they type of medications being given and the potential for massage either increasing or reducing their effects. This would be true in both a palliative care situation where light Swedish massage might be given to someone receiving chemotherapy, or in hospice care where even more passive massage might take place on someone with end stage kidney failure.

Providing massage to very ill clients or to those who are in the last months or weeks of life is much different than massage for those who are healthy or suffering from life’s daily aches and pains. Compassion and patience are the main tools – with warm, healing hands coming in a close second. The rewards are many and the emotions can be intense. Being well prepared for this important work is vital.

Should you or a loved one have palliative care needs that could incorporate a massage component, please get in contact with us to work out a treatment plan.