A few weeks ago, our building was bustling with certified massage therapists receiving training for our Caring Touch massage program. The Caring Touch program provides complimentary massages to our clients and primary caregivers and is powered by certified massage therapists with special training who volunteer their time with us. We launched the program in mid 2010, and since then have watched our clients and massage therapists bond over the experience and the healing power of touch.
Here’s what one massage therapist had to say about the experience during training:
“I was very touched by everyone today and was almost brought to tears knowing how much I was able to do for them today. I could tell that my first client was very nervous about the massage. She said she had had one before but didn’t really like it, but after today she seemed to be looking forward to another one and her husband couldn’t stop thanking me for helping her relax, saying how much of a difference he saw from before and then after. And with another client, just knowing that he was able to relax and kind of escape from the world of doctors, needles, and pain even just for 45 minutes made me smile. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with such amazing people. It meant a lot to me knowing that I could be there for them, especially after finding out that my cousin’s wife lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this week. Thank you for everything that you do for everyone there.”
In 2010, we hosted nationally renowned oncology massage trainer, Tracy Walton, MS, LMT, for a three-day intensive training session with twenty-three local massage therapist. As part of that training, each therapist agreed to provide volunteer time to our organization to help us launch our oncology massage program, Caring Touch. Beginning in July 2010, 30-minute massage appointments became available to clients and caregivers. The program has been so well received that we are bringing Tracy back in 2012 to train more massage therapists.
March 5 through 8, 2012, we will host an intensive massage training: Caring for Clients with Cancer: Simple Steps to Safe, Effective Massage Therapy. Participants will earn 32 hours of NCBTMB-approved instruction, as well as the benefits of oncology massage for cancer patients, which include reduced pain, anxiety, nausea, depression and fatigue.
Certified massage therapists interested in learning more about oncology massage are encouraged to register. The cost to attend is $200 and all participants must be willing to provide 16 hours of volunteer service to our Caring Touch massage program. Applicants must have completed a recognized professional training program in massage therapy and be certified by the state of Indiana. Registration is limited to 24 and there are only a few spots remaining.
We are also looking for clients to assist with the training sessions by being willing to receive massages from students the last day of training. If interested, contact Cheryl Dafforn at (260) 484-9560 or email@example.com.
by Nimal Gernando, cancer survivor and Cancer Services client
One beautiful day in June 2008, I was attending a conference in Indianapolis and developed a slight and sudden pain in my lower abdomen. I tried to shrug it off, but it didn’t go away and actually got worse. I had a bad feeling about it, so I decided to head home. I called my wife on the way, and she suggested that I call the doctor. The doctor saw me right away, but he couldn’t find anything and suggested that I get a CAT scan. The scan showed a tumor blocking my colon, so I had a colonoscopy, which confirmed the tumor and I underwent surgery to remove it immediately. That was the beginning of a new life for me and one that has been humbling and challenging.
After my diagnosis, I found Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, which has been a huge source of support and encouragement to me and my family. My Client Advocate, Brandon, has been there at every turn and has never hesitated to provide the information that I need. I have also been enjoying the massages provided through its new program, Caring Touch. The experience is so relaxing and comforting. I am thankful to Cancer Services for the support and services provided on my journey.
My life goes on and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I have learned to look on the bright side and have been counting my blessings. I have two boys: Nathan (8) and Nelig (7). My wife, Shanthinie, has been strong and is taking care of me and the two boys with much courage and perseverance. She is scared, yet she has been there to support me and take care of the family throughout this journey. We do not have family in the area, so she has found strength in the community, especially from our church family, which has rallied around us and offered encouragement and support. Life is a struggle but I am keeping my hope alive.