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I graduated from the Sutherland Chan School of Massage Therapy and currently teach there. I have also completed the Contemporary Medical Acupuncture program at McMaster University in addition to several courses in movement assessment. I currently practice at the CCNM Integrative Cancer Centre and at Sutherland Chan in Women’s College Hospital.
My first exposure to treating cancer-related symptoms was during massage therapy school where I worked in a specialty clinic dedicated entirely to alleviating the pain and discomfort resulting from mastectomy scars. Since then I have expanded my practice to treating scar tissue in many areas of the body, and working both with people currently undergoing cancer therapy and those who have completed their treatments but are still experiencing ongoing discomfort as a result.
Massage therapy can be extremely beneficial to those undergoing cancer treatments in a number of ways:
- In addition to decreasing the fight or flight response that tends to be in overdrive throughout cancer treatment, calming touch can assist in decreasing nausea and promoting better sleep.
- Chemotherapeutics tend to come with a long list of adverse effects. One of these unwanted side effects is known as sensitization. Sensitization occurs when nerves become irritated due to a change in their environment and results in pain throughout the body. I use a combination of massage and acupuncture to calm the irritated nerves and restore pain free function to the affected areas.
- Massage therapy can also be highly effective in treating lymphedema, which occurs when fluid accumulates after lymph nodes are damaged or removed. I use a combination of manual lymph drainage, cupping and kinesiology taping to mobilize and disperse the accumulated fluid to reduce uncomfortable swelling.
- Massage therapy can be used in breaking down scar tissue after surgery. Surgical scar tissue can contribute to pain, immobility and reduced functioning. By manually breaking down fibrous scar tissue and adhesions through massage therapy techniques, posture, mobility and pain can improve. Learn about our Post-Surgical Scar Treatment Package.