Oncology Massage 


Alison is proud to be one of the few therapists in San Luis Obispo County certified in Oncology Massage. 

The Society for Oncology Massage describes Oncology Massage as “the modification of existing massage therapy techniques in order to safely work with complications of cancer and cancer treatment.  Anyone who has ever received cancer treatment, from those in active treatment to those in recovery or survivorship, are best served by a massage therapist who has received training in oncology massage.”

Oncology Massage is not about treating the cancer itself, it’s about providing relief to the individual affected by cancer. On the most basic level, massage provides emotional support, and reduces feelings of isolation while providing comfort and positive touch.

Research shows that Oncology Massage can reduce pain, fatigue and anxiety in those living with cancer. For pain, In 2011 Falkensteiner et al. found that four out of five studies which examined massage therapy and pain had a positive outcome. For anxiety, two separate meta-analysis by both Moyer et al. (2004) and Fellows et al. (2004) concluded a reduction in anxiety was the most consistent effect of massage. To examine fatigue, a 2009 randomized control trial by Listing et al. looked at 86 breast cancer patients who received 30-minute massages twice weekly for two weeks. The results showed both immediately after the intervention and 6 weeks later the massage group had a significant decrease in fatigue. While the current quantitative research cannot back up further claims, some patients who have regular massage during treatment report improvements in sleep, nausea, depression, health of the scar tissue, quality of life and mental clarity.

As a therapist trained in Oncology Massage, Alison has an understanding of both the ways both the disease itself and treatments affect the body. As a Oncology Massage Therapist, Alison has the ability to modify massage techniques to make them safe for those in active treatment for cancer and those who have received treatment in the past. She uses safe, non-invasive techniques, specifically adapted for individuals of all ages and types of cancer, to maximize the therapeutic benefit to the client.

All first appointments include a complimentary 30-minute assessment. This time allows Alison to get to know you and your goals for the session. For an Oncology Massage session, 30 minute allows plenty of time to gather information about your medical history, including treatment history and any special requests you may have in order to create a session that is tailored to each your unique needs. Before the session, Alison will always take time to answer any questions you have.

Sources Cited

Fallkensteiner M, Mantovan F, Muller I et al. “The Use of Massage Therapy for Reducing Pain, Anxiety and Depression in Oncological Pallative Care Patients: A Narrative Review of Literature.” ISRN Nursing 2011; 2011: 929868.

Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson S. “Aromatherapy and Massage for Symptom Relief in Patients with Cancer.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2004, Issue 3, Art. No,: CD002287.pub2.DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD002287.pub2.

Listing M, Reisshaur A, Krohn M et al. :Massage Therapy Reduces Physical Discomfort and Improves Mood Disturbances in Women with Breast Cancer.” Psycho-Onocology, 2009; 18(12);pp1290-99.