Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 62 July 2015 Contents What do you
a client has
Don’t turn them
• Learn about cancer,
• Learn specific
cancer safe massage
• Reduce risk to you
and your clients
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offer a “substitute” such as a manicure.
Others ask for a doctor’s certificate before
starting any beauty treatments.
This can create even more of a barrier
between people with cancer and those who
are healthy and thriving.
“ While these practices are in the
interests of promoting safety, it further
highlights how much a client’s life has
changed with their diagnosis; when all
they want is a little pampering and to
feel `normal’ again for a little while,” says
Kylie Ochsenbein, general manager and
a director of Oncology Massage Ltd (a
registered charity and not for profit).
“People with cancer themselves are often
cautious about doing anything that sits
outside what their doctor or oncologist have
“ So they go without massage, beauty
treatments and other complementar y
therapies because they are afraid.
“But therapists with oncology massage
training can see people with cancer at any
stage of their treatment and will be skilled
at taking specific medical histories so that
they know what they can and can’t do.
“By proudly stating that therapists in
a clinic have been trained to understand
cancer and the treatments, current patients
or those with a history of cancer will trust
that they are in the right place.”
The organisation offers Oncology
Massage for Beauty Therapists training
courses at regular inter vals during the year.
The course teaches practitioners about
the science of cancer, cancer treatments,
appropriate products for cancer clients, and
the importance of organic and safe massage
techniques that trigger the relaxation
“ Therapists who have had training
in oncology massage also acquire the
ability to adjust their massage to take into
consideration the many side effects of
cancer and its treatment,” says Kylie.
“Oncology massage is all about pressure,
site and position. `S ite’ is about knowing
where on the body you can work safely: are
there areas compromised by lymph node
removal or other treatment?
“ The reference to `position’ is to be
sure the client is as comfortable as possible
during the massage session, often using
bolsters and pillows for support. It’s all
Kylie explains that oncology massage is a
gentle pressure technique that triggers the
relaxation response and creates a feeling of
peace and tranquility for the client.
“ W ith that comes a reduction in pain,
anxiety, nausea, fatigue and depression and
can be used with any clients who are in a
fragile physical and emotional state,” she says.
“Even your regular clients will benefit from
the total relaxation that is oncology massage!
“Oncology massage-trained therapists
know how to interface with the medical
community and support clients through
chemotherapy cycles in a drug-free way to
reduce many of the side effects.”
There is an increased awareness around
this which has driven the greater demand
with organisations such as Breast Cancer
Network of Australia (BCNA), Clinical
Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) and
the Cancer Council, now using Oncology
Massage Ltd’s National Therapist Listing to
help find suitably qualified therapists.
Skin Factors, distributor in Australia of
Christina Cosmeceuticals and Ahava Dead Sea
products, recently affiliated with the Oncology
Training International (OTI) program.
It offered therapists the chance to
participate in a three-day workshop led by the
program’s founder, Canadian Morag Currin.
“For too long, the skincare, spa, and
wellness industries have shied away from
addressing the needs of cancer patients,”
“A lack of knowledge has impeded
practitioners from helping these cancer
fighters and survivors.
“The are the very people who may benefit
most from wellness and aesthetic services.
“Whether you are a manicurist, massage
therapist, skincare specialist, hairdresser or spa
director, or any kind of wellness practitioner,
[oncology massages and aesthetics programs]
will help you understand the needs of clients
with cancer, overcome the challenges in
treating them, and allow you to treat them
properly, compa ssionately and well.”
Matoyla Kollaras, director of Skin Factors,
passionately believes in offering education to
stockists of all Christina Cosmeceuticals and
Ahava products in areas that exceed pure
skincare, including such opportunities as
working with cancer patients.
This in turn allows you, as salon, spa and
clinic ow ners/therapist s, to broaden your
scope of practice and connection with clients.
“It’s our firm view at Skin Factors that
the more we talk and become educated
about cancer within our industry, the more
we can help others
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