Latest News
27 May 2022

CancerCare therapists learn new scar massage skills

Leading oncology scar expert delivers three day course for CancerCare massage therapists

Scar massage slide
Latest News
27 May 2022

CancerCare is recognised as a leader in the field of providing expert professional therapy to people affected by cancer and bereavement.

We are always striving to ensure that our therapists are equipped with the latest specialist skills to ensure our clients receive the best care possible and, this week, our massage therapists took part in an intensive scar massage course with one of the UK’s leading practitioners in the field.

The RESTORE Oncology Scar Specialist certification course saw around 20 therapists learning more about scar tissue caused by cancer surgery and the most effective techniques to reduce sensitivity and pain, promote movement and understand the psychological impact scars can have for the clients.

The course took place over three days at our Kendal Centre and saw the therapists practice their skills “hands on” with CancerCare clients, learning scar massage, both dry and using oils, wax creams and gels, and also experiment with therapy tools and devices.

The sessions were led by Emma Holly, who has a clinical practice at Ten Harley Street, London’s most famous location for health professionals, and she has delivered similar courses across the UK at centres of excellence such as The Christie in Manchester.

CancerCare client Jenny Thistlethwaite from Ingleton volunteered to allow the therapists to practice their new massage techniques on the scarring she was left with following surgery in November last year.

Jenny said: “I had thought I was fine after the mastectomy but I now realise it made me feel completely different about my body and I was avoiding touching my scar. After surgery, you are advised at the hospital to massage the area but not really told how to do it or what products to use. Losing a breast is such a massive thing for a woman, psychologically and physically. Having the specialist massage today made me realise what a difference that taking care of the scar properly really can make and can also help it look, as well as feel, better.”

Emma said: “The course went really well and it helped that the quality of the therapists at CancerCare team is clearly very high. The course very much shows the value, not just of treating the scar itself, but taking the whole person into consideration and treating them with respect. We have great wound care in the NHS but the importance of this kind of therapy tends to get a bit forgotten about.

“Every scar is different and can cause varying degrees of tightness, sensitivity, pain, restriction of movement. It’s also important to remember the scar is not just the linear area you can see. Treatment damages the tissue under and around it and expert massage therapy takes this into account and can ultimately make the woman feel it is both ok to touch it and accept it as part of their body.”

Specialist scar massage will now form part of the therapy offer at CancerCare.

Pictured left to right: Emma Holly, Jenny Thistlethwaite and massage therapist Susannah Cogger.

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The perfect partnership! This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our relationship with @LakelandUK who marked it in spectacular style with a £30k donation to us! Read all about how we have helped each other over the last 3 decades, here

One of our most popular “hands-on” therapies at the moment is #reflexology - a type of massage that involves applying pressure to the feet, hands and ears which can reduce anxiety, lift mood and improve well-being. To read about why - click here