Oncology Massage Course

Here are some highlights about what you will take away from attending the cancer massage course:

This course leads to a fully accredited qualification as a Certified Oncology Massage Therapist.  It focuses on developing your understanding of common conditions of cancer and how this will influence your work. It will include how to modify your massage techniques along with learning some new ones specific to a variety of cancer conditions. Included in this field of work is home care advice that will have a positive impact and support your manual therapy.

You will be given the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt on the cancer massage course within real life conditions, providing a massage session that takes your clients through the assessment, planning and application process along with suitable home care suggestions.

It is an exciting time to be a part of the ever increasing acceptance and growing demand for qualified oncology massage therapists.

I look forward to working with you.

Here's how it works

  • The Online-Only Oncology Massage course teaches you all the technical information and needs to be completed if you plan to go onto the following course days, but it is offered as a stand-alone course.
  • Day 1 Practical Oncology Massage -
    This will teach you how to modify your manual therapy based on real life case studies for common cancer conditions.
  • Day 2 Practical Oncology Massage -
    The day starts off with developing further your manual techniques which considers more advanced work. You will have an opportunity to experience an introduction to scar work. Ideally an afternoon clinic will be offered but this is dependent on numbers of volunteers; either way further exploration of case studies will be incorporated into your learning.
  • Day 3 Practical Oncology Massage -
    This focuses on advancing your soft tissue skills, providing home care suggestions specific to your cancer clients and covering rehabilitation principles. Included in the day is a your final clinical cancer massage workshop which will integrate all that you have learnt with end of day case study discussions.
  • Assessment for Certification is included in the Day 3 afternoon clinic
  • "I can't tell you what a difference your marvellous course has made to my practice. Everyone loves the approach and treatment - and it's really effective too. So much so that I now use it on all my regular clients. You're brilliant."

  • "Thank you so much for all your hard work and support through the course it really is such an amazing course and so well structured and covers so much information I have learnt a huge amount. I was really so pleased with my result and feel extremely proud to be a Certified Oncology Massage Therapist and that guidance to get me there has been you and for that I truly am thankful, the course brings a whole new wealth of knowledge, and you made it light hearted along the way on what can be a very emotional topic."

  • "Thoroughly enjoyed the course, it's really helped with my work at Macmillan and in my private practice. Everyone who calls themselves a massage therapist should have to do at least one course with you and especially those who work with cancer patients."

  • "Thank you for the certificate and so much for a great and really informative course which is already proving useful."

  • "Such a BRILLIANT course. Great feedback from clients too - new ones like it and regulars have spotted the difference and approve. Thanks so much Susan."

  • "I've had a few clients at the Horizon Centre and the course has much improved my confidence and competence. Results seem to be positive too."

  • "I've just had that difficult client who once again tried to determine today's treatment. Her health has deteriorated so there was no way deep tissue would be involved so I said let's see where the tissue takes us. Started with distraction on the feet and calmed her down. It was deeply relaxing massage for both of us lol. Also I've been using some techniques on private clients with positive feedback. So once again gushingly thank you Susan."


Online-Only Course


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Online Course + 3 Practical Days


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Individual Day 1 Practical
(includes online course)


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Individual Day 2 Practical
(includes online course)


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Individual Day 3 Practical
(includes online course)


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Oncology Massage

Online-Only Course


The online portion of the Oncology Massage course will cover the technical information you need in order to make appropriate choices in cancer care, it will also prepare you for the practical cancer massage workshops wherein the main focus will be on case studies and hands on skills, plus working with walk in clients.

The online PowerPoint video presentations can be completed as a stand alone module if you want to understand the basics of how cancer forms, learn about the research behind oncology massage, understand the different types of treatment and their side effects including the disease process itself. While this lays an excellent foundation covering technical information is does not prepare you to work directly with a client providing cancer specific manual therapy.

The online cancer massage module is a requirement prior to doing any of the practical days. There are currently 12 videos that cover the following material, including a number of bonus sections. Running time is approximately 3.5 hours. You have unlimited access to this module and can view all the videos as many time as you need.

You are invited to join the private Oncology Massage Facebook group at any time, no commitment necessary!

  • Understanding cancer and how it forms, growth patterns, malignancy
  • Risk factors modifiable and less modifiable
  • Benefits of bodywork for cancer
  • Dispelling cancer myths based on research
  • Treatment options, conventional and complementary therapies for cancer
  • Effects of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy & drug treatment
  • Psychological demands of treatment, the disease & social influences
  • Cancer massage modification and considerations
  • Gauging a clients level of tolerance during all stages of cancer
  • Conditions & side effects associated with cancer and treatment:
  • Alopecia
  • Anaemia
  • Anorexia-cachexia
  • Bone fragility
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Oedema
  • Lymphoedema
  • Neutropenia (immunosuppression)
  • Pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Scars and adhesions
  • Skin care during radiation
  • Medical devices:
  • Central lines
  • Collection bags
  • Ports

The bonus sections include:

  • Fascia and Oncology video
  • NEW British Fascia Symposium Lecture on Oncology Massage - What does the research say?
  • Video about how to achieve the right depth
  • Homecare, 4 videos focusing on breathing techniques
  • Examples of intake & consent forms
  • And a continually growing cancer resources section, oncology book recommendations, links to informative cancer websites etc. 

Oncology Massage

Practical Workshops

Oncology massage courses to teach you how to modify your manual therapy based on real life case studies for common cancer conditions;
a cancer massage course that includes clinical sessions working with oncology clients as well as developing your manual techniques to include advanced cancer massage;
and a course focusing on home care and rehabilitation principles specific to cancer clients with useful take home ideas.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Dates & Locations


Day 1 Overview

This day is all about preparing you for the real thing, starting with taking a comprehensive case history to developing your manual skills to meet the needs of your clients.


  • Intake assessment workshop using oncology specific forms
  • Using real life case studies based on common cancer conditions to understand how this information will influence the planning of your massage session
  • Cancer conditions covered will include breast, colon, testicular, kidney, bowel cancers and myleloid lymphoma
  • This workshop will increase your skills as a communicator and listener
  • Learn what is important to know and what the right questions are to achieve a comprehensive understanding of your clients health status
  • Understand your role as a soft tissue therapist, what your remit is as a cancer massage therapist and when to refer
  • CNHC what you can and cannot claim, advertising
  • Review data protections rules on record taking and data storage
  • Group discussion analysing each of the case studies using the information to establish what the considerations and modifications are in planning a cancer specific session
  • Establish realistic session goals based on a clients stage of health during all stages of cancer
  • Discuss the psychological impact of cancer on both the client & the therapist

Practical Workshop

  • This cancer massage workshop will cover the soft tissue modifications necessary to accommodate your clients’ stage of health and diagnosis
  • Manual techniques and their modifications will include effleurage, petrissage, friction, shaking, rocking, long strokes, vibration, tapotement, compression, distraction, mobility and stretching, with further discussion about their efficacy
  • We will cover the use of supports, bolsters and the positioning of the client taking into consideration the disease, any lines, ports or collection bags as well as treatments such as surgeries
  • Demonstrations will include how to work in a variety of positions as well as in a chemotherapy chair
  • You will be able to apply your cancer massage techniques through clothing or directly on skin using a variety of mediums
  • Contraindications and cautions for cancer massage


Day 2 Overview

This day is about putting into practice what you have learnt so far on Modules 1 & 2 within a clinical setting. In preparation, the morning will be spent delving into case studies and advanced techniques. The afternoon you will have the opportunity to offer a session to an oncology volunteer followed by a group discussion reflecting on the outcome.


  • Practical demonstrations will include Transverse STR, Muscle Energy Techniques, Neuromuscular, trigger point work, Myofascial Release, and much more. Prior training in these techniques is useful but not essential. You will also receive an introduction to scar massage.
  • Case studies are covered in a similar format as Module 2, these will include more complex studies such as breast, prostate, lung, Hodgkin lymphoma, brain tumor, pancreatic and terminal cancer affecting the liver and bones.

Clinical Workshop

  • Your practical workshop will be followed by a clinical session, you will be given a client in which you will take a full case history, plan a session and deliver an appropriate massage.
  • Post treatment will be followed by a group discussion working through each case, their history, technique choices, modifications, reflecting on what went well and what could have been done differently. An introduction to home care will be covered, these skills will be further developed in Day 3.


Day 3 Overview

Putting it all together integrating all the previous modules with additional workshop information on rehabilitation principles and homecare suggestions. The afternoon will hold another clinical day to develop your confidence and skills.


  • Understanding the principles of delivering a more effective homecare plan and how to encourage client compliance using these principles
  • Building on previous knowledge to include homecare for common conditions breast, bowel, colon, prostate, lung, kidney, testicular, myeloid lymphoma, brain tumors, pancreatic and terminal cancer.
  • Understanding what other modalities would benefit a clients return to health, when to recommend and refer.

Practical workshop

  • Advanced mobility techniques which will include Transverse STR, mobility, stretching, MET, massage with soft balls
  • Group work will include dyna-bands, smaller balls to ease tension, stretching principles, mobility versus full ROM stretching, home recommendations to encourage better sleeping habits, introduction to proprioception work to help stabilize areas of weakness

Clinical workshop

  • In a clinical session you will be given a client in which you will take a full case history, plan a session and deliver an appropriate massage, included will be homecare and appropriate demonstrations to your client.
  • Post treatment will be followed by a group discussion working through each case, their history, technique choices, modifications, homecare, reflecting on what went well and what could have been done differently.


Course Dates:

Day: Date: Location:
Day 1 Practical 18th January 2019
2 places left
North London
Day 2 Practical 19th January 2019
2 places left
North London
Day 3 Practical 20th January 2019
2 places left
North London
Day 1 Practical 22nd February 2019
Registration now open
Galway Ireland
Day 2 Practical
23rd February 2019 Galway Ireland
Day 3 Practical 24th February 2019 Galway Ireland
Day 1 Practical 1st March 2019
Registration now open
Cheltenham UK
Day 2 Practical 2nd March 2019 Cheltenham UK
Day 3 Practical 3rd March 2019 Cheltenham UK
Day 1 Practical 17th May 2019
Registration now open
Day 2 Practical 18th May 2019 Edinburgh
Day 3 Practical 19th May 2019 Edinburgh
Day 1 Practical 2nd August 2019
Registration now open
North London
Day 2 Practical 3rd August 2019 North London
Day 3 Practical 4th August 2019 North London
Day 1 Practical October 2019 TBC Glasgow
Day 2 Practical October 2019 TBC Glasgow
Day 3 Practical October 2019 TBC Glasgow

Oncology Massage

Accreditations & Approved By;

If you are thinking of starting a career as an oncology massage therapist,
our accredited cancer massage courses can help you to get qualified and ready to work quickly.

Complementary Therapists Association

Complementary Therapists Association

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Complementary Health Professionals

Complementary Health Professionals

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Association of Physical & Natural Therapists

Association of Physical & Natural Therapists

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Sports Massage
by Susan Findlay




Emotion can play a role in #SoftTissue tension but so can your management of a clients positioning #MassageMondays


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