I was asked recently why I became a massage therapist. I thought for a moment and said "My mom". Here's the story: My mom had a hip replacement and was given medications that she should not have received. This caused many complications in her recovery which in turn has impacted her ability to drive, walk, etc. It so happened that it was at a time in my life where I had the opportunity to make a career change. I looked into Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy but soon realized I would be using a walker by the time I graduated. One day a friend of mine suggested Massage Therapy. I researched Massage Therapy and eventually enrolled in classes and my life has never been the same. Thank you Sandy!
Next question was "Why Oncology massage and Geriatric Massage"? My response was "Both of these groups of people need touch...loving, compassionate touch." For those in treatment for cancer, many times they feel their identity is the cancer. Not at all...they just happen to be an individual who is dealing with an illness. They are not the illness. Therapeutic massage sessions remind them that they still have control over their body and how their body feels. Oncology massage or Cancer Care Support can help with the side effects of treatment. For the Geriatric client, many feel isolated, lonely, and depressed. Many have lost their loved ones and friends over time. They live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Having someone come and offer compassionate, gentle therapeutic massage as well as conversation gives them something to look forward to. There are many health benefits as well.
I knew from day one that I wanted to work with the elderly. Never once did it cross my mind to work with individuals who have or have had cancer. I really was just ignorant of the fact that we could. I lost a sister many years ago to a rare brain cancer and in 2014 my dad was diagnosed with a form of leukemia and went through chemotherapy treatments. Praise God he is doing great! Soon after his diagnosis I received an invitation to MDAnderson Integrative Medicine Conference for Massage Therapists, Acupunturists, and Yoga Instructors. Talk about divine timing! I signed up immediately and that began my journey into oncology massage.
During the conference, MDAnderson brought in a couple of patients to speak to us about their experience of receiving massage therapy. Both stated that massage therapy sessions helped them get through their treatments. After hearing them speak I had such a tugging in my heart to expand my practice to include cancer care support through massage therapy. I searched out training and the rest is history. I feel absolutely honored when someone allows me to help them through treatment and recovery.
Truly blessed to be a massage therapist!
Massage Therapist specializing in Therapeutic, Oncology, and Geriatric massage.