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Massage Aha!

Professional therapeutic massage therapy in Kansas City, MO by Aaron Harris, BCTMB

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What is a Medical or Oncology Massage?


Medical or oncology massage is a specialized style customized for clients with chronic conditions. It is often performed in hospital rooms, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics.

Who Should Get a Medical Massage?

This style is especially suited for patients recovering from surgery, or undergoing radiation or chemotherapy for cancer. Other conditions that may benefit from this style:

Can't Any Massage Therapist Perform a Medical Massage?

Medical or oncology massage requires an extremely gentle hand and experienced therapist. Patients are often bed-bound or experiencing tremendous pain. Great care must be taken to work around intravenous tubing, cardiac monitors and other medical devices.

There are also medications that must be taken into consideration. Patients who are on high doses of pain relievers run the risk of injury from a standard massage session if the therapist works too firmly. Different medications affect various organ systems and should not be flushed through the body by lymphatic drainage.

an iv bag in a hospital room
Working around complicated medical equipment can be a challenge for massage therapists.

Clients who are bed-bound due to paralysis, age, or other medical problems have special needs that include:

  • Safe repositioning
  • Range of motion exercises to help prevent bed sores
  • Techniques to combat muscle atrophy.

There are additional skills that you should look for in a medical massage therapist:

  • CPR training
  • Personal protective measures
  • Infectious disease control
  • Compassionate comfortability around very ill or dying patients.

These additional skills are not normally included in massage therapist education.

My background as a hospital-based paramedic gives me a unique skill set that is perfectly suited for medical and oncology massage. I am experienced around severely injured and ill patients. I also understand human physiology and know how to properly research unfamiliar medical conditions. I am comfortable working directly with your medical team to develop a treatment plan.

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