Cancer Support

Cancer Touch Therapy™ 

Cancer Touch Therapy  is a wonderfully relaxing  spa-style body and/or facial treatment for anyone living with, undergoing treatment for and recovering from cancer.  

The aim is to provide a safe and effective treatment that is 100% tailored and adapted to safeguard the client's wellbeing and provide a completely comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Not only do cancer patients benefit immensely from  massage and touch  therapy, so do elderly or pregnant clients, people on anti-inflammatory medication or those who bruise easily.

 

Cancer Touch Therapy treatments are likened to a period of deep meditation, allowing a period of rejuvenation on all level; mind body and emotions.  They are deeply relaxing and created to help you reach a deep sense of calm and peace, making use of smooth, slow rythmic Tui Na Chinese movements and gentle touch:

  • Hand on Heart ™ ............................... 90 mins treatment includes back, scalp and facial treatment spa ritual
  • Sooth & Nurture ™............................. 30 mins or 60 mins options Organic Facial 

Only the highest quality 100% organic preparations from "Made For Life" in Cornwall are used during these treatments, 

Prices start from £24. 

Contact Eileen to book a free consultation before your first treatment.   Use the contact page of this website to get in touch and I will get back to you as soon as possible.   

Please let me know your home post-code when you get in touch, especially if you have difficulty travelling and are interested in arranging  a home visit (an extra mileage charge will apply)

Cancer Touch Therapy was developed by the Made for Life Foundation, Cornwall, and the training is fully accredited by the Complementary Medical Assocation.   

 


 

Hydrotherm® 3-Dimensional "Tranquil Sea" Cancer Care Massage

A safe, effective, nurturing massage for anyone who is currently receiving  treatment for cancer, or has done so in the past.

Using the Hydrotherm* 3 dimensional massage system, the client lies upon cushions of warm water to receive their massage.   The  effect is almost instant as the warm water supports and cocoons the body into relaxation.  

Anyone wishing to experience the Tranquil Sea massage should first get in touch to arrange their detailed consultation with me, so that the desired treatment can be discussed and agreed, adapted where appropriate according to any specific needs.   Please allow around 30 minutes for your consultation.

Not only do cancer patients benefit from massage and touch  therapy, so do elderly or pregnant clients, people on anti-inflammatory medication or those who bruise easily.

Price from £25.   Additional mileage charge may apply for home visits.   Please use the contact page of this website to get in touch for more information.  Please leave your phone number and postcode, and a let me know when the best time to get back to you. 

The Hydrotherm Tranquil Sea Massage for people living with cancer was developed by John Holman Therapy Solutions in conjunction with Penny Brohn Cancer Care and the Amethyst Trust.


 

Additional Resources

 

Most of us have had our lives touched by cancer in some way.  If we ourselves have not had our world turned upside down by the shock of a cancer diagnosis, then it most certainly will have affected the lives of many people around us; loved ones, family, friends, colleagues. 

 As medical science progresses, more is learnt about different ways to combat cancer, with treatments  including surgery, radiotherapy and drug treatments (such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted cancer drugs).     With more sophisticated technology, we  see earlier diagnosis too.    According to Cancer Research UK, survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years.  And that's good news.

In more recent years, Lifestyle Medicine has come more and more to the fore as we seek to identify unhealthy lifestyle habits and empower conscious, healthy living.    The newest research in lifestyle and integrative medicine show that nutrition, stress, emotions and beliefs all affect our health.   Significant lifestyle changes can even prevent, and in some cases reverse, chronic illnesses, particularly blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc.   A whole person, integrative approach to prevention and recovery just makes sense;  it provides the individual with more options to explore, creating more choices, and subsequently is more empowering.    

In the Healing Cancer World Summit 2018 published by Hay House, the key themes in taking a whole person, integrative approach to prevention and recovery discussed:

  • Taking control of your health
  • The healing cancer lifestyle
  • Food as medicine
  • Reducing stress and overcoming fear
  • Mind-body medicine
  • Radical self love and acceptance
  • Your spiritual journey

Many of my friends on their cancer journey would be among the first to endorse many of the above aspects, and drawing on their personal experiences and my own research, I'd like to use this page to share with you some key messages that I believe you will find helpful for "empowered patients, thrivers and survivors" (I love that description by Kris Carr, Healing Cancer World Summit).

A very lovely friend of mine once said to me, "I want not just to Live, but to Thrive!"   

Let's all do that.  Knowing how to take care of ourselves is a huge part of it.   


 

Thoughts about Massage & Cancer - demolishing the myths

Way back in 2008, I joined my local health and beauty academy to learn the art of massage.  I was working full time then as a Personal Assistant in the telecoms industry, and am still not quite sure why I signed up for the course.   I was reasonably happy in a comfortable job, and wasn't looking for a new career, but something caught my attention and drew me there.  I think I wanted to learn a new skill, and I wasn't finding my hi-tech telecoms job particularly  challenging or fulfilling.    

One of the first things I learnt in my therapist training was how to conduct formal consultation with a client before a treatment.  That is, a fact-finding session on why the client has come to you, what they expect from a treatment, and their medical history.   We want to know their medical history because there are a number of physical conditions that are considered "contra-indicated" for massage i.e.  might restrict the way a treatment is performed, or totally prevent it.  Cancer is one of those conditions.  If someone had cancer, they couldn't have a massage.  And that's how we were taught back then.  It wasn't fully explained why but we assumed it was because they thought massage might spread cancer, and the insurers simply wouldn't cover it.   If the client got a letter from their doctor saying it was ok, then that might be a different matter.  But we weren't trained in massage for people with cancer.  Even if they had a doctors note.Confusing.   And all a bit taboo.

Today, times have changed, thankfully.  Professor Karol Sikora studied medical science and biochemistry at Cambridge and stated:

"The contention that massage is always contraindicated because of the idea that it might cause cancer cells to break off and spread is simply wrong.  There is really no evidence to support this." 

Cancer cannot be spread by massage, or any other movement that squeezes blood and lymph around your body.  Otherwise people with cancer would need to go home, lie down, and stay very very  still the whole time until a cure could be found.    However, what we know now to be true is quite the opposite, as clarified by Dr Carl Simonton of the Simonton Cancer Research & Counselling Centre, California:

"Rather than making demands on the immune system, massage actually supports it."

Hospices throughout the UK provide massage therapies to the benefit of their patients.  Penny Brohn Cancer Care supports massage as safe and beneficial for those with cancer when practised by a therapist with appropriate experience and/or training.   In treating the person holistically as a whole, the Amethyst Trust says that in their experience, regular massage can:

  • Lead to improved physical and emotional confidence
  • Help people express emotions and deal with anger
  • Reduce isolation and reduce fear
  • Reduce nausea
  • Restore a sense of balance and wellbeing
  • Provide a sense of calm
  • Reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort
  • Improve sleep
  • Help people to feel special

There are still a plethora of myths surrounding whether massage is safe whilst undergoing treatment for cancer, and the reality is it is perfect safe, providing the necessary adaptations are made.   It is more than just a little heart-warming to know that  there are a number of organisations who have stepped up to take on the task of re-educating the industry and putting training courses in place so that therapists in spa's, health centres and private practice can confidently and safely carry out a massage for someone in treatment for, or recovering from, cancer surgery or treatment.

The first that I encountered was the Amethyst Trust who teamed up with Penny Brohn Cancer Care and John Holman Therapy Solutions to provide training on the Hydrotherm massage system (see elsewhere on this site") with a treatment called Hydrotherm Tranquil Sea massage.  This is a spa-style massage that is adapted as appropriate.  A typical adaptation might be where lymph nodes have been surgically removed or weakened, or if PICC lines are in place in the arms.   

Imagine if you always loved a regular monthly massage before your diagnosis.  Then were told you can't have a massage for at least 5 years because you got cancer.  How would you feel, especially at a time when you probably need a massage the most?!

In addition to the Hydrotherm Tranquil Sea, a friend of mine in treatment for cancer had recently volunteered to have a treatment for students learning Cancer Touch Therapy™.  After hearing her glowing testimonial, and realising that I personally knew the Instructor from a previous health coaching training we'd both attended, I accepted the nudge from the Universe to look into this too, and must say am so glad I did. 

Cancer Touch Therapy™ is not massage, but is a deeply relaxing spa ritual that combines gentle touch with smooth, slow, rythmic Tui Na Chinese movements.  It uses Made for Life 100% organic preparations, providing a lovely connection with nature and creating a complete window of stillness in time.  This is a treatment in its own right but I also combine it with the Hydrotherm Tranquil Sea on occasion.

Clients who have these treatments give wonderful feedback.   It isn't just the treatment itself, but also the one to one care, the supportive touch, and complete time out  all really help.

I would really encourage any therapists reading this to ask themselves how they feel about this topic, and consider undertaking additional training and introducing a cancer-care aspect into their own practices.   It's a wonderful thing to be able to offer and from my own experience, deeply rewarding. 

I would also recommend the book   "Medicine Hands" by Gayle MacDonald MS LMT.  It endorses the importance of touch for cancer patients,  and  teaches bodywork practitioners, oncology professionals, patients and family how massage can safely support patients as they receive treatment and during their recovery process.  I continue to find it a valuable resource and point of reference.

It was only during a recent interview with a local advertising magazine that I realised why it was so important to me to be able to provide that nurturing window of time for people with chronic illness or in recovery from cancer.  As we sat in my treatment room at home, chatting about our passions in life and how blessed and grateful we feel when we can do what we love for a living, serving others and using our unique gifts, I had a sudden flashback to when I was in my early twenties.  This distant memory resurfaced and suddenly I was transported back to my dad's beside as he lay at home in his final hours.  He looked so frail and weak. He was in so much pain and there was no "end of life" pack there in those days to help him get any relief.   I wanted to put my arms around him and hold him, but he suddenly seemed to look so small and weak, barely managing to draw breath in the shadow of his previous big strong body, I was frightened if I touched him I might hurt him, or damage him somehow. I wanted to give him some comfort and didn't know how.   And of course, I never got chance again.  It's really important to show people how much we care.  When we feel loved and cared for,  it helps us heal on levels far and beyond our physical self and touches our very souls.


  

A positive approach to Cancer ... influencing your body to create wellness

In this section, I'd like to share with you the experience of one of my closest friends as she talks about her cancer journey and how, with what might be considered an alternative approach, she tapped into the mind-body connect through visualisations to influence the outcome she wanted.

This content will be added soon. 


 

Food as Medicine

In this section, I'll be sharing some ideas about using nutrition 

This content will be added soon. 


 

Finding a purpose in Life

In this section, I'll be sharing some thoughts on the importance of knowing why you are here. 

This content will be added soon. 

And more to follow.