Pulse of UTMC

Massage for People Living with Cancer

Living with a diagnosis of cancer can be very difficult and stressful. Your oncologist deals with the physical aspect of your disease, but what about the fear, anxiety and side effects from chemotherapy, radiation and medications? Massage therapy provided by a therapist educated in the special bodywork needs of the person living with cancer can help them cope with these issues and more.

Oncology massage therapy utilizes a lighter touch. The point of the massage is to nurture and comfort, not to “fix” anything. Blood counts, risk of lymphedema, ports, recent surgeries, catheters or ostomy bags are all taken into consideration.

Potential benefits of oncology massage include:
-increases relaxation and energy
-decreases edema
-encourages deeper respiration
-improves bowel activity
-increases mental alertness & clarity
-provides pain relief, reducing the need for pain medicaiton
-decreases symptoms related to chemo & radition, such as fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, constipation & loss of appetite

The client can come away from the session feeling relaxed, and as they relax, the pain, nausea and fatigue may have diminished. For a moment the touch can help the person living with cancer feel whole again.

is Licensed in massage therapy,certified since 1979. Worked through the years in a small private practice in Toledo while raising a family and working full time. In 2007 Vicki had an epiphany that led her to enrolling in a local massage school, and obtaining her license with the Ohio State Medical Board. She is certified in oncology massage therapy, and is clinically certified in aromatherapy. In April, 2011, UT Physicians hired her as a massage therapist. She was thrilled to land this position. Vicki has always had a passion for customer service, and this is the ultimate service-to help people feel better through touch applied with intelligence, control & purpose.
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3 Responses to “Massage for People Living with Cancer”

  1. Marcia King Says:

    Do any health insurance companies cover medical massage?

  2. Vicki Feit Says:


    It depends on your policy. Some policies will cover massage therapy if it is provided by a physical therapist or supervised by a physical therapist. I believe that the therapy should be recommended by your physician as well.

    Massage therapy is making progress as a legitimate therapy in the medical community and with the insurance companies, but it is a slow progress.

    Thank you.

  3. Marcia King Says:

    Good to know. I know someone for whom medical massage therapy is recommended but her particular insurance won’t cover it. Thx.

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A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.

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