Oncology massage therapy is a growing field of massage therapy, earning street credentials in the industry of massage therapy and oncology as a viable way to incorporate the mind-body healing arts into traditional cancer treatments. Eastern philosophy has long acknowledged the connection between disease and massage, producing some of the most effective methods of massage therapy used by western therapists today. Reiki, a technique that has grown hugely popular in the United States, is just one of the popular healing therapies the west learned from eastern philosophy.
Oncology massage therapy is a type of bodywork technique that is designed to help cancer patients. The methods of massage help patients cope with the stress and pain of cancer and the treatments that may be required to prolong their lives. Massage therapy on cancer patients can also aid in the recovery process following surgery and other treatments, and often involves work on the lymphatic system.
Like all related disciplines in massage, oncology massage therapy specialization starts with a solid working knowledge of the body and it’s systems as taught by an accredited massage therapy school. Many of the country’s oncology massage programs require students to first earn licensure or be considered a Certified Massage Therapist in their state of practice before a student will be accepted into their school’s program.
In oncology specific massage therapy classes, students gain a detailed understanding of cancer and the body processes that are impacted by the disease. They also learn how massage therapy can help cancer patients recover from treatments and cope from the disease.
Some of the classes required for a career in oncology massage therapy include Oncology I and II, in which students learn how to provide comfort to cancer patients who are diagnosed at varying stages of the disease. Much like training for pregnancy massage, oncology massage therapists must understand that there are limitations in pressure, positioning, and locations of the body. These classes also discuss the details of psychology and pathology related to cancer.
Typical oncology massage therapy programs at a college or school will also include alternatives to touch-based massage. Hot stones and hydrotherapy are important modalities in the field of cancer massage because of pressure limitations in cancer patients. Detailed understanding of anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology as they related to the specific types and locations of cancer and tumors are especially critical in this specialized genre of massage.
Although most massage therapy schools offer some oncology related massage therapy training, most therapists in the specialized field attend professional training academies following their graduation from a vocational program at a college. Additionally, there are many schools across the United States that offer the specialized training and a specialized degree program. As the discipline gains momentum, more schools are adding oncology massage to their class plans.Tags: Massage Therapy College, Massage Therapy School, Specialty Massage Therapy Classes, Specialty Massage Therapy Schools