​​​​​Palliative Care Massage Training

Location: Eastern Palliative Care, Training Room,

                First Floor, Building 2, 630 Mitcham Road,

                Mitcham 3132.

Cost:  $895



Due to the Coronavirus this course  is on hold 

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3-Day Intensive in Oncology Massage 

This course is aimed at qualified massage therapists who are currently working with clients, and those studying towards their qualification as a Massage Therapist. The course is also appropriate for other professionals who perform bodywork, including physiotherapists and osteotherapists who would like to treat clients who have received a cancer diagnosis. All attendees must have a current First Aid certificate, membership with a professional association/body and Professional Indemnity Insurance including Public Liability Insurance. Students must have commenced student clinics in order to undertake this training course.

The course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to provide safe and appropriate massage therapy to clients who have experienced or are living with cancer, and is delivered by facilitators who have extensive experience in this field. The course is based on the work of Gayle MacDonald who is well known as one of the pioneers of Oncology Massage. Prior to attending the course, participants will be required to purchase Gayle MacDonald's book - Medicine Hands - Massage therapy for People with Cancer, 3rd Edition, and complete the pre-reading. 

During the three days, participants will receive comprehensive information regarding how cancer is formed, how it spreads, how it is treated by conventional medicine (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) and the role massage has as a complementary therapy. Modifications to massage will be discussed and demonstrated, and the course provides ample opportunities for participants to practice these adjustments. The curriculum also focuses on presence, self-care and the role of the therapist. Additionally, the importance of performing a comprehensive client assessment is discussed, as well as identifying those clients at risk of developing lymphoedema.

Assessment includes both a written test that consists of multiple choice and short-answer questions, and a practical supervised massage session with a client who has experienced or is currently living with cancer. By successfully completing the course, participants will have the skill set to offer Oncology Massage to their clients in a confident, safe and appropriate manner and will also be invited to monthly mentor meet-ups to support them with this work.


- Setting your intention and opening your heart to working with those with serious illness

​- Overview of cancer and its impact on the body

​- Identifying your own perceptions regarding cancer

- Conventional treatment options including Surgery, Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy and               their side-effects
- Adjustments that must be made to provide a comfort-oriented massage

- How to identify clients that are at risk of Lymphoedema

- How to perform a client intake for a client with a history of cancer and formulate a treatment plan 

- The importance of presence, self-care and your role as the therapist

- Stem cell flow sequence (courtesy Gayle MacDonald)
- Completion of a 30 minute written test (multiple choice/short-answer questions)

- Supervised massage session with a person who has undergone treatment for cancer. 

Enrolment requirements: 

This course is offered to qualified massage therapists, bodywork therapists and massage students who are currently undertaking the HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy who have commenced student clinics. Attendees must hold a current First Aid Certificate and have Public Indemnity Insurance which includes Public Liability Insurance.

Course preparation:

Pre-reading of Gayle MacDonald's book Medicine Hands - Massage Therapy for People with Cancer 3rd edition (2014, Findhorn Press) is essential for this course. Please read the following chapters prior to the commencement of the course:

Chapter 4 - The Side Effects of Cancer Treatment: Why the need for a less demanding                         approach

​Chapter 5 - Pressure, Site and Position: An organizational framework

​Chapter 7 - First do no harm: Adjusting for Common Side Effects during Cancer Treatment

​Chapter 8 - The New Normal: The Role of Massage during Recovery.**

This book can be purchased through Amazon via the S4OM website or through The Book Depository.

​This course also requires pre-course material to be completed in the two weeks leading up to the commencement date. This information will be emailed to participants after registration and full payment for the course fee has been received. 

Course requirements:

Participants are asked to bring the following items for the duration of the course:

* 2 towels       * 2 pillows       * 1 blanket

If you are unable to bring these items, they will be supplied at an additional cost of $15 payable at the beginning of the course.

On Day 3, participants will need to wear suitable attire for providing massage to clients, so need to dress appropriately for a clinical setting.  

Massage tables will be supplied for the duration of the course at no cost.

Morning and afternoon tea will be supplied. You will need to bring your own lunch. Please advise of any dietary requirements in the Registration process.