What makes a Cancer Care service different from any other facial or massage?
Let’s start with some science: cancer treatment changes a person’s body forever. Common side effects can last for decades – and that’s not something that’s discussed much. After medical treatment is complete, patients are often given no counsel on how to best care for themselves going forward and this is where Cancer Care spa treatments can really help.
Like so many others, cancer has touched my own family and friends. When my loved ones were in treatment, I sat on the sidelines watching them go through hell, feeling helpless, wanting to do more to ease their stress and pain but not knowing what to do.
But as an esthetician and reiki practitioner, I’ve learned that the power of touch can be transformative. This was the way I could help.
Training in Ireland
The NBB Rhythm and Flow services were inspired by an advanced certification course I completed with Christine Clinton Cancer Care in Sligo, Ireland in February of 2019.
Over the three days of this training, I received both an in-depth education on what to expect when providing services for cancer patients as well as two full days of hands-on experience working on volunteers from the local cancer wards.
The strength shown by our volunteers during the time we worked with them was incredibly moving for me. The after-effects of certain kinds of treatment – surgery in particular – are very difficult to conceptualize unless you have seen them firsthand.
The New Normal
Post-treatment, patients are sometimes told that changes they will experience going forward should be regarded as the “new normal” meaning, their body and health will most likely never be the same.
But after chemo, radiation, and many types of surgery there is no going back to “normal” new or otherwise. Side effects that occur during treatment can be ongoing and have a huge impact on overall quality of life.
As part of my training, I was required to complete ten case studies with people from my community. During the course my time with these Cleveland-area volunteers, I heard over and over that their doctors and nurses had not really shared much information with them as to how treatment would affect their overall health for the rest of their lives.
Common side effects, in addition to extreme fatigue, include dizziness, intense itchiness of the skin, chronic finger and toenail issues, changes in hair color or texture, neuropathy, difficulty sleeping, claustrophobia and excessively dry skin.
Other side effects include 52 different types of skin rashes (associated specifically with chemo and radiation) as well as radiation burns, painful muscle adhesions near surgical or port sites and post-mastectomy pain syndrome.
How Spa Treatments Can Help
The good news is that spa treatments specifically geared towards cancer care can greatly reduce stress and discomfort during treatment and post-treatment. But this isn’t training that the average therapist receives either through their schooling or through experience in a regular spa or salon setting.
Without this training, many therapists feel uncomfortable providing spa-type services to cancer patients or survivors, so at the exact moment when an individual in treatment might benefit most from a relaxing, supportive massage or facial they have often been unable to receive one. But not in Ohio, not any anymore.
Bringing it Home to Cleveland
NBB is the only Christine Clinton Cancer Care certified spa in the state and I’m thrilled to be offering our very own Rhythm and Flow services to our community. Know anyone who could use a little expert TLC? We’re here for them.
Be well in the world,