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Using acupressure points to support cancer patients

acupressure chemotherapy oncology massage diploma oncology touch treatments therapist training Aug 15, 2022

This month we announced our new Therapeutic Oncology Massage qualification, which will officially begin in September. It is a new addition to our portfolio of oncology touch therapies, designed to be a luxury spa experience for cancer patients whilst providing targeted relief for the common side effects of cancer treatment.

The advanced treatment combines three key components:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Natural skincare products
  • Acupressure

In this article we wanted to look at the role of acupressure in supporting cancer patients, and how it works as part of the Therapeutic Oncology Massage.

The role of acupressure

The treatment is based on the same beliefs as Shiatsu and Traditional Chinese Medicine, looking at the flow of energy in the body. During the massage, the therapist applies pressure to specific areas with the aim of addressing particular concerns. Combining these acupressure points with dedicated body oils makes the therapy adaptable, luxurious and effective.

Acupressure for cancer patients

Research has shown that acupressure can help to minimise pain and some of the side effects of cancer treatment. There are multiple studies into acupressure, as well as other massage based therapies for cancer patients, showing both short- and long-term benefits.

Having established in broad terms that acupressure has positive benefits for cancer patients, research has become quite advanced and specific in looking at its efficacy on various cancer and cancer treatment side effects.

For example, a study reported by the NIH found that in a test group of 100 cancer patients treated with acupressure for chemotherapy-induced vomiting, 68% found symptoms to be reduced after treatment. Another study has also explored the effect of acupressure on pain in cancer patients with bone metastasis, showing 'statistically significant' results in reducing pain or pain perception. Acupressure for cancer-related fatigue has also been shown to be extremely helpful. The NIH noted a particular study from 2021:

"Acupressure can be recommended as an integrative treatment for cancer-related fatigue because it is effective, easy to use, tolerable and does not cause serious side effects."

Therapeutic Oncology Massage

The side effects that we target with acupressure and the Therapeutic Oncology Massage include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Stress and anxiety
  • An inability to focus (also referred to as 'chemo brain')
  • Low energy levels
  • Low confidence levels
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dry and itchy skin

 These also correspond with our collection of nine dedicated Well Being Beauty Body Oils, which work to ease symptoms through their natural healing ingredients as well as carefully selected aromatherapy oils. The oils are used during the massage and can also be retailed to clients for them to use at home.

Read about holistic wellbeing for common side effects of cancer treatment

The Therapeutic Oncology Massage has been created to enhance holistic massage for cancer patients, resulting in a treatment that is luxurious, personalised and effective at improving quality of life during and after cancer treatment. The qualification is a certified course accredited by the Federation of Holistic Therapists, so that on successful completion of the course, therapists will be able to welcome cancer patients for this specific therapy and will be able to gain insurance to do so without requiring medical consent.

Discover the Therapeutic Oncology Massage


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