Discover The Best Type Of Massages For Cancer Patients (A Guide To Oncology Massages)

The traumatic experience that cancer patients have to go through is something we don’t wish on anybody. To make matters worse, cancer treatment is a battle in itself.

The treatment can lead to a lot of mental and physical pain.

Fortunately, oncologists are recommending patients go see a trained oncology massage therapist to find some well deserved relaxation and healing.

To learn more about this great source of wellness, keep reading along!

What Is An Oncology Massage?

Oncology massages are specialized massages that are used to help cancer patients manage the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

Oncology massage therapists are specially trained to work with cancer patients and can provide relief from the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Anxiety and depression

Oncology massage is an integrative approach to cancer care that combines traditional massage techniques with holistic healing practices such as aromatherapy, reflexology, and energy work. 

It can be a helpful addition to conventional cancer treatment, providing relief from physical and emotional symptoms.

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage is a type of massage that uses long, flowing strokes to promote relaxation and relieve tension. 

While there are many different types of massages, a Swedish massage is one of the most popular. Some people believe that a Swedish massage can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and even promote better sleep

Cancer patients may also benefit from a Swedish massage. Massage therapy for cancer patients has been shown to help reduce anxiety and improve quality of life.

Myofascial Release

A myofascial release is a therapeutic method used to treat restrictions in the body’s connective tissue. 

Myofascial release (MFR) uses gentle, sustained pressure to free up restrictions in the fascia, which is the connective tissue that covers and supports the muscles. This type of massage can be very beneficial for people with chronic pain or injuries.

The fascia is a tough, fibrous material that covers and supports all of the muscles, organs, and bones in the body. It is made up of collagen fibers that are arranged in a criss-cross pattern. 

The collagen fibers make the fascia strong and flexible so it can withstand forces from everyday activities. Over time, repetitive movements or injuries can damage the fascia. This type of release can help relieve pain and improve range of motion.

Japanese Massage Therapy

Shiatsu or Japanese Massage Therapy is a form of massage that uses pressure and finger strokes on the body. It is said to be beneficial for conditions such as stress, tension headaches, neck pain, low back pain, and cancer.

Shiatsu has been shown to improve the function of the immune system in people with cancer. It also seems to improve quality of life and decrease anxiety and depression in people with cancer. 

Shiatsu may also help prevent or delay the onset of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage is a type of massage that is designed to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue in the body. 

It is often used to relieve pain and tension in the muscles and joints, and can also be helpful in providing relief from chronic conditions such as inflammation, Fibromyalgia and even cancer. 

Cancer patients may find relief from some of the symptoms associated with their condition through a deep tissue massage. The therapist will use slow, deliberate strokes to reach the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, which can help to reduce pain, inflammation and other symptoms associated with cancer.

In addition to seeing a therapist, patients can buy massage chairs for their home. Check out some good massage chair options that our team has reviewed.


Reflexology is a type of massage that focuses on specific pressure points in the feet, hands, and ears. It is based on the belief that these pressure points are connected to different areas of the body, and that massaging them can help to improve overall health. 

Reflexology is sometimes used as a treatment for conditions such as anxiety, back pain, cancer, and headaches. While there is not enough scientific evidence to support all of these claims, some people do find reflexology to be helpful in managing certain health problems. 

If you’re interested in trying reflexology, it’s important to choose a qualified practitioner who has experience in treating the condition that you’re hoping to address.

Benefits Of Massage For Cancer Patients

Smiling female cancer patient in blue shirt getting good news for the doctor.

For anyone experiencing cancer, we know it can be an emotionally and physically demanding time. However, with massage therapy, you can dramatically improve the experience.

Here are some key benefits of oncology massages for cancer patients:

Nausea and Pain from Chemotherapy

An oncology massage can help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea in cancer patients.

Cancer cells release certain chemicals that can cause nausea and vomiting. Chemotherapy drugs target these chemicals, but can also cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. 

Oncology massage uses techniques that help to relieve tension and stimulate blood flow, which can help to reduce the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Mental Anxiety and Stress

Oncology massages can help people with cancer by reducing stress and anxiety. 

This type of massage is designed to help people who are dealing with the stress of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Oncology massages can be beneficial for both the mind and body, providing a way to relax and de-stress. 

Cancer patients may find oncology massage helpful in managing their anxiety and stress levels.

Depression and Mood Swings

Oncology massage helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that improve mood and relieve pain. 

Cancer patients often experience depression due to the physical and emotional stress of their diagnosis and treatment. Oncology massage can help to ease these symptoms and improve quality of life.

Cancer Exhaustion

An oncology massage can help fatigue by increasing circulation and improving lymphatic drainage. 

Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can often lead to reduced circulation and swelling due to the build-up of toxins in the body. When these therapies are completed, many patients still experience residual fatigue and pain. 

Oncology massage can help to reduce these symptoms by promoting better circulation and improving the overall health of tissues with manual lymphatic drainage. In addition, oncology massage can also help to improve quality of sleep, which is often impaired during cancer treatment.

Pain Management

Oncology massage is a specialized form of massage that is used to help people who are living with cancer. Cancer patients often experience pain, fatigue, and other symptoms that can be difficult to manage. 

Massage therapy can help to relieve some of these symptoms and improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Massage therapy has been found to be an effective treatment for both chronic and acute pain by releasing endorphins, and it can be an important part of pain management for cancer patients. 

Is A Massage Dangerous For Cancer Patients?

There are a few risks associated with massages for cancer patients. 

Most notably, pregnant women should not have massages, as it can lead to miscarriage. Additionally, people with arthritis or heart problems should consult a doctor before getting a massage, as it could exacerbate those conditions.

That said, massages are generally considered safe for cancer patients. 

They can help reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, and improve circulation. In some cases, they may even boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. So if your oncologist gives you the go-ahead, there’s no reason not to enjoy a relaxing massage!

Frequently Asked Questions

What To Expect With An Oncology Massage?

Cancer affects people in different ways, so it’s difficult to say definitively what to expect from an oncology massage.

However, most oncology massages last around 10-15 minutes, and the therapist will likely focus on gentle massage techniques that will be comfortable for the cancer patient.

Since cancer patients are often dealing with a lot of physical and emotional stress, a massage can be a really soothing and calming experience. It can help reduce pain, fatigue, nausea, and other symptoms associated with cancer treatment. 

If you’re considering an oncology massage, be sure to discuss your specific needs and concerns with your therapist beforehand.

How Do You Find Oncology Massage Therapists?

There are a few ways to find oncology massage therapists.

One way is to ask your doctor or nurse for a referral. Another way is to do a Google search for “oncology massage therapist + your city.” Finally, you can also check the website of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) for a list of oncology massage therapists in your area.

How Much Does A Massage Cost?

The cost of a massage depends on the type of massage and the location. 

For example, a Swedish massage can range from around $50 to $100 an hour, while a deep tissue massage may be closer to $75 to $125 an hour. 

However, if you’re getting a massage at a spa or resort, you can expect to pay more – sometimes upwards of $200 an hour. And if you’re getting a special treatment like Ayurvedic or hot stone massaging, the costs can be even higher.

If you want to bring massages to your home, the price of massage chairs typically ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

Product Reviews:

Putting It All Together

An oncology massage is a massage provided to patients that are undergoing treatment for their cancer.

Massage therapy allows for the patient to mitigate many of the negative side effects that occur when going through their treatment.

There are few techniques that are especially beneficial for cancer patients such as Shiatsu, Swedish, deep-tissue, myofascial release, and reflexology.

Overall, there are many benefits to oncology massage and minimal risks as the therapy will help you relax mentally and physically.

Further Reading:

Director of Wellness


Fact Checked by our Director of Wellness Hi! My name is Yoshi! We understand that investing in massage devices is a big deal. So my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*