Alison Bentley, L.M.T.

- Oncology Massage


If you or a loved one are facing the many challenges of cancer, massage can be a tremendous help for both patients and family. In spite of the busy schedule of appointments, procedures, and tests, making time for a massage can be a worthwhile investment in your health. Because massage helps relieve stress, it allows your body to focus on healing. In addition, studies suggest that it can be very helpful in relieving the most common side effects of cancer treatments such as pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Family members and caregivers may also be suffering from stress and anxiety, and can benefit from the soothing effects of massage.


  • reduces pain, nausea, anxiety, fatigue, anxiety, depression

  • nurturing touch

  • acceptance of body/enhance body image

  • ease muscle tension

  • promote better sleep & relaxation

  • support immunity

  • contribute to general quality of life and well-being

  • support caregivers

Regular massage vs massage for cancer patients:

Cancer patients have widely differing needs depending on their overall health, treatment complications, location of tumors, etc. Techniques include kneading, stroking, compression, and holding of tissues with the therapist's hands and sometimes forearms and elbows. Pressures range from “light lotioning” to deep muscular work. The amount of pressure and length of massage will vary based on the client's condition and any symptoms. May also include range of motion and passive stretching.  Therapist will spend extra time at the first session discussing the client's needs based on their health and medical history.



Some common adaptations:

Sites affected by surgery, radiation therapy, IV's, drains, skin conditions, pain, edema, or bone involvement: Pressure and often contact will be avoided at these sites.

Lymph node removal or radiation: Minimal pressure will be used on the affected arm or leg and related trunk quadrant. If needed the limb will be elevated during the session.

Side-effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy: Work will be gentle and session may be shorter to avoid aggravating fatigue, nausea, etc.

Low platelet levels, easy bruising: Strokes will be gentle, displacing only skin and superficial tissues, not deep muscle layers.

Risk of deep vein thrombosis: Pressure will be avoided on any at risk areas.

Inability to lie comfortably on a massage table:  We can use pillows, side-lying position, or massage in a chair as needed.

In home appointments are available for those who are not well enough to come into my office, and who live nearby.  Please call, 978-761-7020 to arrange an appointment or with any questions.


Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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