We see people getting a little confused following surgery for tumours or reconstructions so a little clarification! We now have an Oncology Massage Therapist (Tess) AND a Lymphatic Drainage therapist (Stacey) so you can choose which modality you feel suits you best! *
Oncology Massage - very gentle massage modality which addresses symptoms and side effects of both cancer and the treatment for it. Aids in the reduction of pain, fatigue, anxiety and nausea in a safe environment centred around relaxation and supporting your immune system to regenerate tissue affected by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Lymphatic safe, as we direct lymph flow to viable nodes, but doesn't specifically address surgery-related swelling. Can be used before, during and after treatment.
Lymphatic Drainage - very gentle drainage modality which stimulates viable lymph nodes and draining fluid toward them. Specifically addresses surgery-related swelling, swelling due to lymph node removal or damage to lymphatic vessels from radiation and other treatments. Also supports the immune system. Can use compression during treatment or kinesio tape to assist in relieving oedema (swelling). Safe for oncology patients but doesn't specifically address symptoms and side effects of treatment. Generally used after treatment, but can be useful before and during also, dependent on what order your treatment proceeds in.
So! They're both gentle, both great to relax your system and optimise your immune system, but one focusses more on physical/emotional symptom relief from treatment and one is skewed toward fluid drainage leading into symptom relief.
*worthy of note is that prior to surgery, we do suggest a trip to an oncology physiotherapist where possible. To ease your mind and prepare you for what rehab may entail following your surgery. The oncology physiotherapists we suggest are also lymphatic trained, so can begin your rehab and fit you with compression garments if necessary and then lead you into an exercise program, while we support you physically and mentally with massage and drainage. It's definitely a team effort, and worth having a supportive, cohesive team around!