Oncology Massage

If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment (or have recently), or if you are caring for someone going through this experience, massage can be of great benefit and is recommended by the American Cancer Society, the Society for Integrative Oncology, and LiveStrong.

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Integrative Massage

You deserve it...Whether you need rest, relaxation, or pain or stress relief, several techniques are combined to best suit your individual needs and help you feel your best.

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Meet Joan

I began my career as a massage therapist in 1996, utilizing traditional, integrative massage techniques, and these methods remain an important part of my general practice. In recent years, I have been working more and more in oncology massage, a special approach to massage developed for cancer patients.

My growing oncology massage practice is deeply satisfying for me. It is deeply rewarding to ease someone’s journey through cancer treatment and recovery, whether I am helping them reconnect with their body after surgery, lower their anxiety, or simply get a good night’s sleep. My partner is a doctor; she saves children’s lives every day. I can’t do that, but I can help a cancer patient who hasn’t slept in a week get a good night’s rest. That means a lot to me, and I know it means even more to them.

I take great satisfaction from working with clients who come to me with a real challenge, people who haven’t found relief in the textbook treatments, people who push me to explore beyond what I already know. I relish the combination of intuition, research, and exploration that such clients need. I love working with clients to discover together what’s going on and how we can best bring them to a place of better health. When we find our way, together, to heightened awareness and well-being, it’s all the more fulfilling for the extra effort it took.

Joan Rau, LMT
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Oncology Massage

Oncology massage is the adaptation of massage techniques to safely nurture the body of someone affected by cancer or its treatments.

Massage can be safe and therapeutic during and after cancer treatment.

An oncology-trained therapist has completed comprehensive training in general massage therapy as well as additional specialized training that addresses the side effects of cancer or its various treatments.

Even after people are out of treatment, receiving bodywork from an oncology therapist is important due to the potential for late effects of treatment. An oncology massage therapist will adapt massage techniques to safely meet the changing bodywork considerations during and after cancer treatment.

Massage adaptations are required for:

  • Low blood cell counts
  • Blood clots
  • Bone metastases
  • Radiation or surgery
  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Lymphedema
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Late effects of treatment

Many cancer treatments require long-term massage modifications. If you are in, or have a history of cancer treatment, request an oncology massage-trained therapist.

The body of research relating to massage and cancer is small but growing. Clinical research shows that massage can improve some cancer treatment side effects, namely perception of pain and anxiety.

Massage benefits can include:

  • Reduced pain and fatigue
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Less nausea
  • Improved sleep
  • Eased isolation
  • Enhanced body image
  • Greater sense of well-being

Caregivers need to be cared for too!

The time and effort required to care for an individual with a serious illness can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. Take a moment to focus on your own restorative needs and experience the benefits a massage has to offer. Massage offers an opportunity to address stresses such as fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, or even depression. Taking care of you allows you to take better care of them.

Therapeutic, Integrative Massage

A Few Insights into Massage Therapy and My Work

Massage may feel like a luxury and a treat, but it truly is an investment in the self, intended to foster a commitment to self care and to value the vessel each of us inhabits. I believe the body has innate healing abilities and naturally wants to heal itself. Massage sessions are designed around individual client needs at any given time. Since your needs may change from session to session, I work with your goals and objectives stated at the start of each session. A massage therapist must be skilled, experienced and knowledgeable about the techniques and modalities, and have insights into what is best suited for each client’s needs. Because there are different ways to allow healing to take place, I integrate various modalities and/or techniques as they are needed. I meet clients at whatever point along the wellness continuum they are, and help move them toward greater well-being.

It is my intent to invite change to take place, not impose change. People access their healing mechanisms in different ways. I work with each person’s inner awareness, teaching them to listen to their bodies, and to reconnect. Massage therapy is a partnership. With a client who is open and willing, I can facilitate healing, and together we can achieve the maximum benefit.

Neuromuscular (Trigger Point Therapy):
Use of deep sustained pressure to release trigger points and alleviate pain. Commonly used for injury rehabilitation purposes. Assists in reducing muscle tension, breaking up adhesions and scar tissue. (www.iahe.com)

A gentle hands-on method used in restoring and enhancing the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid in order to create optimum functioning of the central nervous system. Great for those suffering with migraine headaches, TMJD and those requiring non-circulatory massage.(www.upledger.com)

Lymphatic Draining*:
A specialized therapeutic method using a soft gentle touch to stimulate lymphatic movement. Assists in the circulation of lymph in removing excess fluids, toxins, and other substances from the body. Often used to support the immune system, help with sinus relief, and post-surgical swelling. (www.iahe.com)

*For those with active lymphedema or requiring CDT therapies, please refer to National Lymphedema Network to locate a Certified Lymphedema Therapist

Most commonly recognized type of massage work. Primarily consists of long gliding and kneading strokes which encourage relaxation, increase of circulation, and stress reduction.

Rates and Sessions

30 min. $55
60 min. $95
90 min. $145

$10 Oncology Discount offered to individuals during and up to 2 months post treatment (surgery, chemotherapy & radiation). After that time, session fees will return to regular rate schedule.

Gift certificates available.  Contact Joan for more information

Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

(last session begins at 5:30 pm)
Saturday 9:30 am to 1 pm
(last session begins at 1 pm)

Please note: Your appointment time is reserved exclusively for you. In order to honor my time and yours, all cancellations and no-shows without a 24-hour notice will be subject to a missed appointment fee.

Before your first session, please fill out client forms and bring them to your first session with me.

Oncology Massage

If you are currently in treatment or have completed treatment in the past 12 months please fill out these forms:

Integrative Massage

Book A Session

Because I am most likely with a client during business hours, please submit this form or call my office and leave a message. I will get to you at my earliest convenience.

The information you provide will help me serve your better. Your response will be held in strictest confidence and shared with no outside parties.

Joan Rau, LMT


[email protected]
1560 Scott Blvd., Suite 101
Decatur, GA 30033

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