I was quite happy plodding along in private practice in New Jersey in my beautiful Tiffany blue office. My workload included giving relaxing Swedish massages to the stressed out, deep tissue to the injured, pre-natal to the expecting, and hot stone and aromatherapy to the pampered. Quite content with my repertoire, I wasn’t looking to add another modality; oncology massage wasn’t even on my radar. Until I received a phone call from Mike, one of my long-time clients.
Distraught, Mike gave me the news that his wife, Janine, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. He wanted to book her a spa day to take her mind off her scheduled mastectomy. I knew very little about massaging people with cancer, so I hesitated, asking him to give me some time to research to see if it was safe. He agreed.
After learning all I could on the internet, I searched for a class on oncology massage certification, but as the holiday season was drawing near, the only one I could find happened to be in Alaska. Not willing to let a few thousand miles and sub-zero temperatures deter my quest for education, I signed up for a class and purchased my flight. I became fascinated by this field of study so, after Alaska, still hungry for more information, I ventured up to Boston to take another class.
Now, suitably armed with new material, I felt more confident to help Mike and Janine. More clients came and I knew I had made the right choice in becoming an oncology massage therapist; it gave me a deeper sense of purpose and reignited my passion for my work. How could massage be more meaningful than this?