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We can't prevent cancer but we can support people during a difficult time

cancer cancer treatment future dreams specialist skincare for cancer patients therapist training training volunteering Jan 11, 2023

2022 ended with a catalogue of issues reported in the NHS, and the new year has continued the theme. Staff shortages, strikes, and cancer care delays [1] are distressing for everyone, but especially anyone facing a cancer diagnosis - as if a diagnosis wasn't stressful enough.

For those of us who work in adjacent healthcare sectors, including the wellness industry, it is also distressing to see the additional struggles of the cancer patients we work with. However, while we don't have the medical capabilities to provide treatments that may offer a cure/reprieve from the disease, we do have the ability to offer care and support to help improve quality of life during this extremely difficult time.

We can do this by:

  • Remaining informed about cancer and cancer treatments so we're better equipped to understand the experiences of our clients.
  • Gaining specialist training so that we can offer touch therapies to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis, knowing that the treatments are not only safe but also targeted for the support needed at different stages of their cancer journey.
  • Knowing about (and even volunteering at) charitable organisations like Future Dreams (the only dedicated breast cancer support centre in the UK), which provide a variety of care including touch therapies for cancer patients.

Understanding cancer and cancer treatments

Part of supporting cancer patients is being able to understand and empathise with their experiences without them having to explain every detail (unless they want to). We all know that for spa therapists, part of the job is providing the touch treatment, but it’s so much more than that.

Cancer patients are introduced to a whirlwind of language, treatments and experiences that are entirely alien to anything they have known before. It can be isolating as friends and family don’t necessarily understand all the terminology or the real life implications of a clinical term or procedure. In addition, many cancer patients don’t want to ‘burden’ loved ones, or may not wish to talk about everything that happens to them, but it is important to feel understood.

How Jennifer Young Training helps: Our training helps because it gives you an understanding of the biology of cancer, the science of its treatments, the biological drivers of resulting side-effects, and the protocols and products available for delivering safe and dedicated treatments to clients with cancer.

Specialist training in oncology touch therapies

As a therapist you will know, and were no doubt told in your therapist training, that you need to be cautious when treating any clients who have had a cancer diagnosis. You may even have been told not to treat them at all. The world has moved on enough now that we know this isn’t an acceptable approach for spas to take, but it is true that to treat vulnerable clients you do need to have additional training so that both you and they can feel safe and confident.

This is what our oncology touch treatments are all about and it’s the foundation on which Jennifer Young was built. It’s important that you know the real value that you offer when you can provide treatments for cancer patients - it’s not just about not excluding them from a beautiful experience, but it also provides very real benefit during a hard time.

We know, through evidence-based research, that when someone is going through cancer treatment, living with cancer or recovering from it, touch treatments can have a powerful physical, mental and emotional impact on health and wellbeing. Benefits can range from reduced anxiety, reduced pain and reduced nausea to reduced depression and increased dopamine levels, as well as practical improvements to some of the physical side effects of cancer treatment.

How Jennifer Young Training helps: Our certified qualifications are designed to give spa therapists, beauty practitioners and healthcare workers the understanding, knowledge and confidence to provide touch treatments to clients going through the different stages of cancer, without requiring medical consent.

Volunteering to help cancer patients

We are often asked 'should I be giving cancer patients spa treatments for free?'. The answer to this, in the context of your business, is absolutely not. If someone chooses to come to you, it's a point of respect all round to treat that client and that circumstance like any other. Your time is valuable and so is theirs. If you want to offer free treatments, that's fine, but you are not obligated to.

That said, cancer can and does affect household finances, and not everyone knows that they can access suitable therapies in spas. As a result, there are some amazing organisations, like Future Dreams, the The NHS Christie Foundation and other organisations, often within the hospital environment, that offer free massages and other touch treatments.

These organisations welcome therapist volunteers who want to give some of their time to provide free therapies. It's a lovely thing to do and a great way to support people if you choose to.

About Future Dreams

If you are a therapist based in or around London and you are interested in delivering any of the Jennifer Young oncology touch treatments at the Future Dreams House near King's Cross please do contact the team, they would be delighted to hear from you.


Make huge savings on Oncology Massage and Hormone Balancing Touch Therapies and products this month with our New Year qualification bundles.





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