As the role of massage therapy in cancer care expands, it is an exciting time to provide oncology massage. In this intensive course, we combine the art and science of touch to create safe, effective massage sessions for clients with cancer and cancer histories. In a lively, supportive learning environment, participants learn simple, concrete ways to adapt traditional massage to cancer and cancer treatment. We practice interviewing, follow-up questions, massage planning, and adapting traditional western massage techniques to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, bone metastasis, vital organ involvement, and lymphedema risk.
We look closely at the dynamics of cancer spread, shining new light on the old myth that massage was contraindicated, and we introduce several approaches for educating the public about this common concern. Unique positioning and bolstering techniques are introduced for pain relief, sleep support, and overall comfort. We use guiding principles and practices that can be implemented across a broad spectrum of client presentations (from robust to medically frail), in a variety of massage settings (hospital, private practice, spa or retreat center, franchise or group practice, hospice).
A balanced approach to learning blends lecture, spirited discussion, and hands-on work with client volunteers. Music, art, and literature help to deepen our understanding of the journey. Massage therapists leave with essential oncology massage tools: sample protocols, a client intake form, follow-up questions, visual decision tree, massage contraindications, a physician communication form, interviewing experience, supervised hands-on practice, and an extensive training manual. Because we are recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage (www.s4om.org,), participants who complete the training are eligible to apply for membership.
This training will enable you to:
A balanced approach to learning includes lecture, hands-on sessions, lively discussion, and a straightforward format that doesn't require constant note-taking.
It includes a comprehensive course manual with many resources for continued learning. A highlight of the course—hands-on work with volunteer clients on the last day—offers a chance to practice skills in a supervised clinic setting. The goal is to fashion hands-on sessions that soothe, heal, and reduce pain and isolation.
Hands-on practice is artfully mixed with discussion and lecture. Varying approaches to the work--meditative, cognitive, kinesthetic, visual, emotional, auditory, intuitive--are honored throughout the course. A safe learning setting allows therapists to build lasting knowledge and skills. The 75-page course manual, client intake forms and materials for the physician assist massage therapists in their practice, long after the course is over.
This is an intensive course, packed with information. Tracy makes it manageable by varying her format, teaching style, classroom setup, and pacing. Tracy is sensitive to students of all backgrounds and levels, and encourages questions and discussion.
Topics that will be covered:
Tracy Walton is a researcher, writer, award-winning educator, and specialist in massage and cancer care. She is author of Medical Conditions and Massage Therapy: A Decision Tree Approach (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011). She has worked on clinical trials funded by the NIH (National Cancer Institute) involving professional massage and massage by caregivers. Research partners include the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center. She writes a regular column on oncology massage in Massage Today. Tracy has a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and a master's degree in biology from Northeastern University. and is a Masachusetts Licensed Massage Therapist. She is a graduate of the Muscular Therapy Institute, where she served as a faculty member and Academic Dean. For more information, visit her website at www.tracywalton.com.
Julie Streeter is a registered nurse with 30 years of experience in medical-surgical nursing, oncology and hospice care. Based in Minneapolis, she is an adjunct professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University, where she teaches oncology massage. Julie is a graduate of the Muscular Therapy Institute and has studied and taught oncology massage therapy with Tracy Walton. She brings a world of clinical experience, warmth, and caring attention to her students. An active member of the Society for Oncology Massage, she serves on the planning committee for the 2013 Oncology Massage Healing Summit. Julie works with outpatients at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute. She is also the integrative therapist at Unity Hospital, where she uses massage and other complementary therapies with hospitalized patients.