Skip to content

4 reasons you should book yourself an Oncology Massage

By Amy Tyler
from Institute of Oncology Massage

Oncology massage is a specialised form of massage therapy that is tailored to the unique needs of someone who has had a cancer diagnosis. It is important for someone who has undergone cancer treatment, no matter how long ago that was, to seek out oncology massage rather than other types of massage due of the following reasons:

Safety: Oncology massage therapists are trained to work with cancer patients and survivors who may have unique medical considerations such as medical devices, lymphedema, low platelets, bone density loss and other post-treatment complications. The therapist understands the contraindications and precautions necessary to create an effective treatment plan to benefit the individual whether they are in treatment, palliation or thriving post cancer. Adjustments to massage may need to be made even years post treatment and without specialised training in oncology massage, a therapist may not understand this.

Comfort: Oncology massage therapists understand the physical and emotional challenges that individuals face during and after cancer treatment and are trained to adapt their massage techniques to address these challenges. They create comfortable and nurturing environments for everyone to receive massage therapy no matter their situation. From adapting the way you lie or sit on the massage table to accommodate any pain, medical devices or limitations you may have, to adjusting the pressure of treatment to ensure you do not bruise or have any inflammation post the massage treatment. Direction of massage techniques are also taken into consideration if the lymphatic system has been compromised.

Benefits: Oncology massage has been shown to provide numerous benefits during treatment, in recovery, palliation and survivorship. Reducing anxiety, pain and fatigue, improving sleep and enhancing quality of life are some of the major benefits. Abdominal massage may help settle bowel issues caused by chemotherapy and pain medications and hand and foot massage may ease chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. The deep relaxation elicited by oncology massage helps shift the body from a state of stress, or ‘fight or flight’ to a state of calm.

Rehabilitation: Oncology massage is beneficial post cancer treatment to reduce pain and discomfort, improve range of motion issues left over from surgery or radiation therapy and help survivors feel more connected to their bodies, enhancing their overall sense of well-being.

In summary, oncology massage is a safe and effective form of massage therapy that is tailored to the unique needs of cancer patients and survivors. It can help individuals manage the physical and emotional challenges of cancer treatment, improve their quality of life and support their overall recovery and wellbeing. Seeking out a massage therapist with specialised training in oncology massage is essential as they are knowledgeable about the unique needs and concerns of cancer patients and are able to adapt every part of their treatment to meet the specific needs of the individual. So why not book yourself an appointment with an oncology massage therapist today to see how you can reap the benefits of this amazing modality.

Find out more from Amy on the benefits of Oncology Massage in this video: 


Lopez, G., Liu, W., Milbury, K. et al. The effects of oncology massage on symptom self-report for cancer patients and their caregivers. Support Care Cancer 25, 3645–3650 (2017).

More about the author

Amy Tyler
Amy Tyler
– Institute of Oncology Massage

Amy Tyler is a remedial massage therapist who specialises in working with people who have had a cancer diagnosis. She creates connection for the mind and body through integrating Oncology, Scar and Lymphoedema Massage to bring completely new levels of freedom and confidence to a patient's life. With 20+ years experience and training, she has become known in the industry for her unique skill set and has trained many other therapists to specialise in oncology massage. She runs her private clinic in Waitara in the north of Sydney, is a Natural Medicine Week Ambassador and was awarded the ATMS Natural Medicine Awards “Practitioner of the Year 2020”. Amy is also the founder and CEO of Institute of Oncology Massage, a boutique training organisation that empowers Remedial Massage Therapists and Myotherapists to confidently and competently adapt their skills when working with anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis.