What’s different about oncology massage?

Jul 12, 2018 | Blog Articles

Quite simply, nothing and everything. Nothing because in its simplest form Oncology Massage is gentle massage, much as any form of massage, no one is untouchable.

Everything is more complex.

One significant difference in Oncology Massage (OM) is that it requires an informed sense of mindfulness by the therapist. OM therapists look for signs and symptoms that require modification of the tactile techniques. Every client requires a massage tailor-made to their unique physical experience in the present moment and therapists look holistically at a person and adapt literally moment by moment, to what they observe as they work.


Oncology Massage training imparts specialised knowledge specific to cancer, its treatment and impact. This allows the therapists to confidently adapt and deal safely with the many and varied situations that may arise during the illness and its treatment, including lymphoedema, lowered blood counts, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, wound sites, and surgical devices such as catheters, ports and stoma bags.

Oncology Massage provides deep relaxation and can help relieve depression and anxiety, pain and nausea, improve energy levels and sleep quality, and relief from nausea and pain.


Quest is delighted to welcome Eleanor Oyston as the oncology massage therapist on the Quest for Life program. Eleanor trained with Gayle MacDonald in the US before establishing Oncology Massage training in Australia 10 years ago.

Eleanor worked with Petrea King as a facilitator before identifying the need to train remedial massage therapists in the unique skills needed to safely massage people with complex health issues, especially cancer.

As a diagnostic cytotechnologist, with a degree in Cytology and over 30 years’ experience in medical science and cancer research, Eleanor established Oncology Massage Training, a national trailblazer.

The 4-module program delivered around Australia and New Zealand is internationally recognised for its excellence, sets new levels of professional standards in the massage community and is accepted into a number of major hospitals. Eleanor has taught her program and presented at massage conferences in Germany, the USA, Hong Kong and in Australia. In 2016, Eleanor met with doctors in Spain, a meeting that led to running programs in Barcelona, and taught a pilot program in The Netherlands.

We’re delighted to welcome Eleanor back on to the 5-day residential Quest for Life program on 20th – 24 August. Find out more about Quest for Life program …