Oncology Massage

Oncology massage is a type of massage that is specific to a person who is living with cancer or has had a history of it. This comfort-oriented massage is tailored for each individual by including various adjustments, such as type of pressure, length of session, positioning, and avoidance of affected areas in the body. In addition, side effects from medications and treatments are taken into account so that a safe and beneficial massage can be given.

Oncology Massage is an approach to massage therapy based in both compassion and specialized massage treatments to help people manage their experience with cancer.  Review of the scientific literature indicates Oncology Massage helps improve quality of life.  Benefits include improved relaxation, sleep, and immune function as well as relieving anxiety, pain, fatigue and nausea.

Oncology Massage therapists are trained to meet people where they are in their experience with cancer and apply a highly individualized massage treatment to comfort, nurture, and support them in their process.  The treatments are modified according to the full spectrum of cancer-related issues: the physical, psycho-social, and emotional consequences of cancer. In addition, the person’s individual goals are considered and aspects of the disease and cancer treatment side effects.  Personal goals for receiving Oncology Massage can include the desire for a respite – a relaxing pleasurable experience in the midst of everything that is going on – relieving nausea or other symptoms such as pain or peripheral neuropathy, and helping them get though the remainder of their cancer treatments. “Getting massage from someone who understands everything that is going on, is part of my healing process”, reports one person.

In the past, therapists thought massage would increase circulation and therefore cause cancer to spread.  The process of metastasis is very complicated and poorly understood; however increased circulation is not considered a significant part of that process by itself.  However, it is true that cancer and cancer treatments can put people at risk for complications from massage, so it is important to take some precautions. Because of the different contraindications for massage in this population, it is very important for the massage therapist who is treating a person with a history of cancer – either currently or in the past – to have specialized training in Oncology Massage, in addition to being a licensed massage therapist.  Dr. Richard Lee, Medical Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson explains, “Massage performed with this appropriate knowledge and training can be safely done to help cancer patients.”

No matter where you are in your journey with cancer, Oncology Massage can help.

Oncology Massage Testimonials

“It is a wonderful treat to have the massage while undergoing my treatment. The massage certainly helps my neuropathy.” I love the Idea that i am able to forget about my woes even if just for a little while.”

– Oncology patient


“This is the best thing about chemo!”.
– Oncology patient


“Wow! I forgot where I was. Thanks!”
– Oncology patient


“Receiving the massage was a godsend. My hands and feet felt better than I can remember since I started chemo and the therapist was so kind and gentle.”
– Oncology patient


“Being able to enjoy a massage during this stressful time is amazing.  I feel as though I have gone away just for a little while.  I am happy to be able to have that time to forget about pain and life and what I am going thorugh.  I love the care and attention. This really helps with the pain of the chemo.  Massage Therapists are dedicated and very special people, and deserve to know that what they do means so much to so many.- God Bless All Massage Therapists Everywhere”
– Oncology patient


“I just had my first oncology full session massage at A Touch of Heaven, Massage Thearapy and pain Relief Center in King of Prussia, PA.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it was.  Natalie the Therapist is not only knowledgeable, but the most sincere caring person I have ever met. She is a blessing and I know that with her help, I can get through my long process of healing.  I felt warmth and kindness the moment I walked into her studio.  She made me feel so good and relaxed.  I did not want to get up off of that table.  I have made my appointment for my next massage for just two weeks away.  I plan on receiving this therapy for a long long time as I KNOW first hand that Massage therapy IS so important for those of us with Cancer as it helps reduce the stresses in our daily lives as well as allowing our minds to escape if even for just a little while.  I highly recommend Natalie and  Touch of Heaven to anyone and everyone.
-Oncology patient – Double Masectomy at age 38

“If it was not for meeting my Massage Therapist Natalie through a good friend of mine, I probably would have lost my mind.  I am so excited and so happy about having Natalie in my life.  She has totally changed the way I think about my cancer.  She is so caring and understanding and has a special way of making me feel so special without patronizing me.  Not only is Natalie a great massage therapist – she is an excellent oncology massage therapist.  Natalie at A Touch of Heaven Massage Therapy and Pain Relief Center Is A#1 in my book.  With her great compassion and knowledge, I am getting through the toughest stages of my cancer.  I can’t say enough about how massage therapy with Natalie has changed my life.
– (M. G.) Oncology patient