I have always loved a good massage. When I was single, I’d get one every month. Once I got married and had my daughter, they became a luxury I’d receive as birthday and holiday presents.
Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been a bit nervous about a well-meaning practitioner “rubbing me the wrong way,” (excuse the pun). I have some lymphedema and have always been afraid of making that worse, and I still have a port, which can be tender.
There is a wonderful organization here in Cincinnati, Cancer Family Care, that offers half-priced massage, as well as healing touch, for cancer survivors. I have been incredibly blessed to get regular massages by my wonderful massage therapist Cheryl Smith, LMT, who is certified in oncology massage. A survivor herself, she gives me more than a massage; I consider her a friend who I can share my feelings with, as well as my aches and pains. She knew her stuff and showed interest in me as a whole person, not just client.
I considered it more than a treat; it was a treatment … something that will contribute to my survival. According to Cheryl’s brochure, some of the benefits of oncology massage include:
- Reduced stress
- Pain relief
- Minimized side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
- Restored energy/reduced fatigue
- Boosted immune system
- Enhanced circulation and oxygen
- Removal of toxins from body
- Feeling of peace and well-being
- Reconnection of body, mind and spirit
I am extremely grateful for Cancer Family Care for providing this service. They also hold a day every year for cancer surivors’ children called Camp Courage. Chrissy went when I was first diagnosed had a wonderful time, doing nature hikes, crafts and throwing eggs against a wall to release anger. I could use that myself some days! As you can see by this photo, they even had a face painting artist on hand.
I encourage surviors and family members who lives in the Cincinnati area to take advantage of Cancer Family Care’s services. And better yet, support them with a donation and check out their website. If you don’t live in the area, go to the Society for Oncology Massage’s website to find an oncology massage therapist near you.