My inspiration into Oncology Massage
In 2014 my beautiful friend shared with us the devastating news that her breast cancer had returned. After being in remission for 5 years, we were all heartbroken.
I had given her many massages over the years, my training being in Ka huna Hawaiian massage and Remedial massage. However, now that she was back in treatment and the side effects had returned, these styles of massage became too much for her, leaving her feeling wiped out and fatigued.
She asked that I just focus on Reflexology on her feet or Reiki energy healing, which she really enjoyed. We were blown away by how quickly her nausea and anxiety abated, as soon as I worked on her feet. I gave her regular treatments, but I was always left with a feeling that something was missing. Her body was in pain, I so wished that I could massage her again, to give her comfort.
This is when I started looking into different, gentler styles of massage, more suited for people with cancer and I found Oncology massage. I had been in the industry for over 15 years and I didn't even know it existed. This was the turning point for me. I found the only course for Oncology massage within Australia and quickly enrolled. It was such a lovely nurturing massage, so slow and gentle. My beloved B loved being massaged again, leaving her feeling so relaxed and peaceful. To be able to massage her again and offer her comfort was unbelievable. I was hooked.
By the time my friends health started declining, my massage skills were certainly put to the test. I used a mix of Reflexology, Reiki & Oncology Massage on her, which was such a lovely combination used together.
The relief that I was able to offer her in her final weeks were a god send. I went there daily. The pain relief that gentle touch gave her, taking the edge off her anxiety and helping her to fall into a peaceful sleep, was the biggest gift I've ever been able to give someone.
Since her passing, I have focused my work on people with cancer and other life limiting illness. For 3 years I have volunteered at Jacaranda Lodge Cancer Support Centre at The SAN Hospital, first as a Reflexologist and then as an Oncology Massage therapist, to hone my skills and also to give something back to the community.
I have now gone onto to complete the final levels 3 and level 4 in Oncology Massage training at The Austin Hospital Olivia Newton John Cancer Centre in Melbourne. I feel so proud to be one of only 70 or so other people trained at this level within Australia.
By carrying on this work and helping others in their time of need, I feel I am truly honouring my friend. B, you will always be my greatest inspiration.