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If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred.
--Walt Whitman

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Cancer and Massage: Safety Essentials
16.0 CE hours

This course has been warmly received in spa settings where it is offered as an in-service for massage therapists and estheticians needing to adapt massage and spa treatments to people with cancer and cancer histories. As a "primer" or "safety essentials" course, it is easily adapted to other learning settings, including clinics and hospitals.


Massage therapy is a growing part of cancer care. People seek massage therapy during treatment, end of life, diagnosis, and survivorship. In this lively, interactive course, we outline essential information and skills for working safely with clients who have cancer or cancer histories. We begin by dispelling old myths about massage and cancer spread. We go on to address concrete massage adjustments for several of the most common client presentations, including bone and vital organ involvement, lymphedema, blood clots, and side effects of typical cancer treatments.

Throughout the course, we use simple tools to smooth the way. A quick “decision tree” format helps identify massage contraindications and map out adjustments in pressure, joint movement, client position, and other factors. With an easy-to-use pressure scale, we practice the massage pressures used for different case scenarios. Targeted interview questions are introduced, along with guidelines for using the client’s answers.

In our massage planning, we bring together information from our clients, our clients’ physicians, the literature, and our clinical experience. Participants leave this course with clear safety essentials, forms to use with clients and physicians, and an extensive manual.

Workshop Scope:
This course provides an overview of the safety principles in massage and spa services for people with cancer. If you are looking for comprehensive training in oncology massage, certification in oncology massage, training in remedial or rehabilitative work with reconstructed tissue, scars, lymphedema, or other late post-treatment complications, please visit the Society for Oncology Massage, www.s4om.org, for more extensive and advanced training.

Learning Activities:
We blend lecture, discussion, case scenarios, Q&A, and hands-on practice in this course. Although hands-on practice takes place each day, the first four learning activities are emphasized.

Course ApprovalsTracy Walton & Associate is a NCBTMB Approved Provider

Tracy Walton & Associates is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as an approved provider, #283404-00.

Tracy Walton & Associates is approved by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, provider # 50-13512.

Selected training is recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage.