As Arkansas's only Preferred Provider as recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM www.s4om.org) I have received specialized training in the care and treatment of those living with and recovered from cancer. I trained under Tracy Walton of Tracy Walton & Associates (www.tracywalton.com) at the Lauterstein Conway School in Austin, Texas. In June of 2017 I successfully completed training in Breast Cancer Rehabilitation at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, through Klose Training. The course work included techniques to improve range of motion post-mastectomy as well as techniques to restore and improve movement following radiation.
I am also nationally certified by Klose Training in Manual Lymph Drainage therapy. My training allows me to provide care for those with edema and lymphedema Level 1. Clients who have had lymph nodes removed due to injury or illness have a lifetime risk of developing lymphedema. Regular MLD massage can help to reroute lymph to healthy, functioning lymph node groups thereby reducing swelling and the onset of lymphedema.
How does Oncology Massage differ from traditional massage?
As with any massage, the ultimate goal is relaxation and an increased feeling of well being. In Oncology Massage we have the same goal but take special precautions to "first do not harm" and adjust our technique to not stress the client's body, mind or spirit. Oncology Massage is low impact and non-circulatory in nature. A typical session may include 15 minutes of pre-massage interview, 20 minutes to bolster and support the body for comfort and 25 minutes of massage or nurturing touch. Each visit may differ depending on how the client feels, recent treatments, surgeries or new medication.
Communication is very important. The relationship between the oncology client and the therapist is based on trust. The client trusts that the therapist is taking every precaution to soothe them in the safest way possible and the therapist is trusting that they have accurate and current information about their health status. Unlike traditional massage the lines of communication between the treating physician and/or their support staff is equally important.
Does insurance cover massage costs for cancer patients?
Currently, I know of no Arkansas based plans that cover massage care. However, if you or your family member are receiving care from CARTI, they will cover for up to 8, 30 minute sessions with me; 4 while undergoing chemotherapy and an additional 4 while undergoing radiation.This is part of your CARTI benefits. If you are not a CARTI patient, the initial session is $75. Follow up visits are $25 for up to 30 minutes and $50 for up to 60 minutes. If you are not able to afford massage care, please contact me regarding reduced rate options.
How to help a friend or family member
So many times we feel helpless when someone we love has been diagnosed with cancer. We can hold hands, cook casseroles, and pray and it still does not seem like enough. At the suggestion of a client I offer a prepayment plan for cancer patients. Much like a gift certificate, you can open an account and make donations to cover the cost of your friend's or family member's massage care. Please make sure first that their physician approves massage, then contact me to book the first session and open the account.
Hospice and End of Life Care
When possible, I offer end of life care at no cost. I will travel within Faulkner County to homes, hospitals or treatment facilities to provide soothing hand or foot massage or nurturing touch. Family and friends are invited to join me in this sacred time by massaging your loved one with frankincense and oil. This is an ancient tradition that goes back to Old Testament times. It is soothing for the patient and allows the family to "be there" in a very loving, caring way.
What if my physician does not approve?
While massage therapists are being recognized world wide as an important part of an Integrative Health Care team, some physicians may not be familiar with the current trends or understand what exactly it is that we do. I will gladly visit with your treating physician or a member of their staff and provide studies and information from respected journals, physicians and hospitals.