Massage therapy can play a role in pain-and-stress relief—and since 2011, Oncology Massage Alliance volunteers have done just that for 9,000 cancer patients throughout Oregon and Texas.
Often, new patients don’t want to be touched during radiation or chemotherapy treatment, but once they see fellow patients relaxing and enjoying a free oncology massage, they, too, usually want one, said massage therapist Geri Ruane, L.M.T., the Oncology Massage Alliance’s director of operations.
Once, Ruane said, she visited an infusion room where all the patients were particularly chatty. By the time she finished her free hand-and-foot massages, silence filled the room.
All the patients had fallen asleep.