Seminar Descriptions - 2018 Oncology Massage Healing Summit

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Contraindications, Adjustments and Intake, Oh My!

There are different schools of thought about the intake form for the client with a history of cancer. One believes that a form specifically for people with cancer is the best path, while another prefers a generic form that does not single out clients because of their health history.

Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT

Did I Already Massage This Leg?

We will invite you to share with Lauren Cates and Lucille Eddy, experienced oncology massage practitioners about the challenges of staying connected in your day-to-day practice.  This course will go beyond simple tips and tricks into a deeper exploration of the reasons and ways in which we disconnect as well as the importance of noticing our habits and the need for discernment in our relationship to our work.  Cultivating sustainable presence in the face of the human journey is not easy, but it is always easier in community.  Join Lauren and Lucille for a lively and authentic conversation that will leave you feeling more grounded and enlivened with curiosity.

Lauren Cates, LMT, S4OM and Lucille A. Eddy, LMT, S4OM

The Emotional Impact of Massaging Clients

You have a unique opportunity to develop deep and meaningful connections with your clients. This scope broadens when the client has health challenges or is facing death. So how do you create a safe space for yourself when clients are emotionally stressed, and what are the inherent risks of compassion fatigue? Explore your own strategies for working with clients, and develop greater awareness of how to interact effectively with clients whilst supporting your own emotional health.

Jan McIlwraith, BBA, DipHsc, CLT, REP-S40M, Massage & Myotherapy Australia, and Palliative Care Victoria

Energy Medicine and the Oncology Client

Learn what energy medicine is, how it is understood from multiple perspectives including Western Science, Allopathic Medicine and Integrative Health disciplines. Current trends in how energy medicine is (or is not) being offered to oncology clients will be addressed. Includes research and resources.

Carolyn Tague, MA, CMT

Essential Motion: Awakening Your Vibrant Body

The class invites participants to move their bodies mindfully, through movement, curiosity and connection with their breath. Start your day with this class, and bring the techniques back to your client. No previous experience or accessories needed. 

Stacey Schultz, MS, MPH - Yoga

Essential Oils – Providing Emotional and Spiritual Support for Common Cancer Symptoms

Some of the most profound uses of essential oils are to provide comfort and ease to the body, mind and soul. 

You will gain hands-on techniques and practical wisdom to provide safe and effective support to your clients within the best practices of clinical aromatherapy. We will focus on oils and strategies to uplift and refresh, transition, ease pain, and improve rest while improving overall well-being.

Jodi Baglien, CA, CST


You will find yourself riveted as seasoned massage professionals and highly ethical humans, Lucille Eddy and Lauren Cates, remind you that you’re thinking about ethics already . . . all day, every day . . . and that it’s actually pretty fun.

The first half of this course lays the groundwork of understanding the difference between ethics, preference, laws and regulations. Explore the places where things like prejudice and personal bias and money and love show up and make ethics a head-scratching, heartfelt good time.

The second half of the day will delve deeper into the many places in our work with seriously ill humans that challenges our own boundaries, ethics and personal biases. Learn how to keep your footing, internally and externally, as we navigate the moving target that is “being meaningfully present.”

Lauren Cates, LMT, S4OM and Lucille A. Eddy, LMT, S4OM

Expanding the Tribe of Oncology Massage: The Dutch Experience

Learn about the experience of establishing oncology massage as a complementary care service in the Netherlands. Estelle will explain how the Network for Oncology Massage is organized in the Netherlands, the successes and challenges of introducing oncology massage in the Netherlands to the patients and the medical sector. Resulting in the Network being recognized by the official cancer institutes as a trustworthy party to refer to for oncology massage.

Estelle Smits - Director/Educator Institute Massage bij Kanker The Netherlands

Get Your Grant On: Tips for Creating Fundable Proposals – Expanded

Get an overview of the grant proposal planning process and cover tips for developing a successful proposal.

Martha Brown Menard, PhD, LMT

Infusion Center Massage in the Cancer Center Setting

Join Johnnette du Rand and the Greet the Day staff for an inside look at the Greet The Day infusion room program for oncology massage therapy patients.  Learn what a typical day in the infusion room is like, how to work as integrative care team member, safety and contraindications, therapist competency requirements, lessons learned, and the future of infusion room massage therapy.

Johnnette du Rand and the Greet the Day Staff

Joining Forces: Integrative Medicine and Beaumont Health System’s Employee Health Plan

Learn how Beaumont Health System's Integrative Medicine integrated complementary health approaches into our own employee healthcare plan. Although the holistic approaches have benefited patient care, and controlled costs, it has not come without many challenges. Learn how this project began, how it grew, where we are today and the challenges we encountered.

Karen Armstrong, LMT, BCTMB

Lymphedema 101: An Introduction to Lymphedema for Massage Therapists

This 90 minute presentation will look at the causes of Lymphedema. You will learn basic lymphatic anatomy and physiology; Edema vs. Lymphedema; The Quadrant Principle; Staging of Lymphedema; the need for Compression bandaging and garments. Questions and Answer.

This entry level presentation is geared for any massage therapist who wants to have a greater understanding of Lymphedema and how this condition affects their clients with a history of cancer. 

Patti Corscaden, LMT, NCTMB, S4OM

The Massage Plan: Adjustments, Not Contraindications

Once the health history is established, the therapist creates a plan for the massage session. One of the core factors in creating the plan, as taught in massage school, centered around contraindications. However, very few health conditions warrant the word "contraindication."  A more helpful approach is represented by the word "adjustments."

Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT

Massage Therapy and Cancer Pain: A Research Update

In this lively presentation, we will look at two important recent systematic reviews on massage therapy in the context of people experiencing pain related to cancer and cancer treatment.

Ruth Werner, BCTMB

Massage Therapy – A Proactive Approach to Radiation-Induced Fibrosis

Learn to deliver safe and competent care during and after radio therapy for the purpose of achieving better patient outcomes. Get an overview of the wound healing and fibrotic process, radiotherapy safety considerations and a demonstration of safe myofascial technique application. A resource bibliography citing current research to support the presentation material is included.

Catherine Ryan, RMT

Music Therapy in Oncological Care: Fostering a “Holding Environment” – A Deeper Conversation

Our evolving culture of oncological care affected by creative human involvement. Using music as a therapeutic intervention has demonstrated that artistic expression through song of kin and clinical music improvisation can provide clarity of thought and assist in the integration of emotional and spiritual domains of functioning.

Music therapy intricately and deliberately incorporates aspects of a patient’s culture, which can directly affect and influence both patient and family's perceived sense of well-being. Through 25 years of patient care, program building and subsequent research studies, Joanne has identified the most salient aspects of oncology care.

We will emphasize critical elements of "holding" - inclusive of palliating and/or resiliency building within the most difficult and fragile environments. Explore how a culturally fostered, in-the-moment use of music-as-intervention therapy approaches are considered. Learn music therapy's capacity to clarify the mechanisms that drive effective medical-psycho-social contextual care delivery.

Joanne Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC

Oncology Massage Research: A Call to Action

Research is the foundation of modern medicine. Learn how research has impacted the field of oncology massage in order to “open the circle.” We will also discuss how you can “expand the tribe” by getting involved in the research efforts.

Jerrilyn Cambron, DC

Pain and Scars

Scar tissue, especially after surgery, radiation, or drain removals is the most common complication from surgery.  Pain from scars is not just physically challenging; it can be psychologically damaging as well.  Explore the latest research, the how and the why of painful scars, and what you can do to help ease the pain associated with scars.

Nancy Keeney Smith, LMT, MLD

Put Science to Work for You: Using Research to Support Your Practice

What is the best, most relevant, most important massage therapy research from the past few years? And, more importantly, how can you use it to build relationships with potential clients and other care providers?

Come to this highly interactive class to find out. We will discuss four recent, useful articles, including their place in the research hierarchy, their strengths and weaknesses, their findings and conclusions. Then we will get to work, creating a variety of messages about that research for our practices.

We will practice verbal communications about these findings, and we will brainstorm marketing ideas, possible blog posts, and other options for putting the science to work for you. You will receive links to download the subscription-free articles ahead of time and guidance for accessing this kind of information. This class covers the research requirement for board certification.

Ruth Werner, BCTMB

Radiation Therapy

Learn the history of radiation therapy, how it works, areas that are treated for different cancers, including pictures of the fields and treatment plans. Understand how different cancers affect the lymph nodes and which quadrants are affected. Gain an understanding of how to massage clients who are undergoing or have had radiation therapy.

Kathy Bjerke, LMT

Radical Bolstering: Taking the Work Out of Laying Down

In working with a population that deals with pain to varying degrees, we have fine-tuned our bolstering techniques to help manage the pain of our clients. We have seen incredible results when we simply move a bolster, or gently add an extra towel or sheet under a limb, hand or neck. Through our work with Tracy Walton, we have developed principles and a few tricks that help to get a client comfortable and ease their pain before we even lay our hands on them. It has been enormously helpful and valuable to our clients and can be applied in most settings. We will demonstrate radical bolstering techniques using a little towel origami, sheets or blankets, and a few guiding principles to help add comfort to our clients on the table.

Nanci Newton, LMT and Erika R. Slocum, LMT

Scar Management

This highly practical course assists you with the development of your clinical expertise – enabling you to work safely and effectively with patients with problematic scars of varying etiology and stages of accidental or surgical trauma recovery. Skillfully applied and timely manual intervention can augment the healing process, prevent detrimental complications such as adhesions and pathophysiological scars and effectively address issues that accompany long-standing scars.

Nancy Keeney Smith, LMT, MLD and Catherine Ryan, RMT

Singing Our Way Through: Healing Through Music

When his five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, the singer/songwriter responded by bringing his guitar to the hospital. Over the next few months, Alastair and Clio co-wrote and sang songs together that helped them process and cope with the struggles and fears their family was facing. A year later, those songs coalesced into a deeply honest and surprisingly joyful GRAMMY-nominated album called “Singing Our Way Through,” which Alastair continues to send to hospitals and pediatric oncology patients around the country. Alastair talks about the journey, sings some of the songs, and shares his intimate perspective on the healing power of music for young people.

Alastair Moock, Singer/Songwriter

Supporting the Transition from Curative Treatment to End-of-Life Care

Examine what this transition looks like mentally, emotionally and physically. Recognizing that each journey and each death is profoundly unique learn the stages of dying (functional, early decline, late decline, pre-active and active dying) and how to support the client at each of these stages. This presentation is a 90-minute segment from our 20-hour nationally certified CE course titled Final Touch Training: Clinical Skills for End-of-Life Massage, which we have adapted specifically for oncology LMTs.

Cindy Spence, LMT, MPH and Susan Gee, LMT

What Is in YOUR Massage Products?

We will cover the basic science of making an emulsion (lotion), what raw materials to use for sensitive skin particular as it relates to oncology patients.  Understand methods of raw material extraction, and detailed pros and cons regarding preservatives in lotions and creams.  Samples of raw materials such as Arnica flowers, Golden Jojoba Beans and oil extracts will be available for therapists to examine. Desired outcome is that you will know what to look for (and what to avoid) when selecting products for oncology massage patients as well as for the protection of your own health and well-being throughout your massage career.

Dianna Dapkins, CMT

When Client Moves into Palliative Care

Learn the differentiation of oncology massage to palliative care massage. Covering the massage service, psychosocial, physical & spiritual needs of the client, their family/career and the massage therapist. Includes information on working within an interdisciplinary palliative care team.

Gillian Jackson, RMT

When the Healing is through the Body: Understanding and Supporting Medical PTSD

Medical post-traumatic stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. The most primitive part of the body, the reptilian brain, and its survival mechanisms perceives most medical interventions as a threat instead of treatment - setting the stage for PTSD. Because PTSD branches from the most primitive part of the brain, it is a bodily-based condition and it can only be accessed and healed through the body. You will understand and identify symptoms of PTSD, how it presents in massage sessions, and learn bodywork techniques that may address these symptoms.

Isabel Adkins, BA, CMT, CMLD

Widening the Circle - The Joyous and Challenging World of Cultivating an Oncology Massage Program

As we seek to serve more types of patients, practicing in a non-profit environment presents some unique challenges and rewards. Explore a successful program at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida, in partnership with the Angie’s Spa Cancer Foundation.

Marcia Lee Middleton, LMT, BS, CQIA

Writing Case Reports in an Oncology Practice

Do you talk about your interesting oncology cases with other massage therapists? Imagine the impact you could have on the field of oncology massage if you could share those stories with other health care providers! This session will discuss how to write case reports for scientific journals.

Jerrilyn Cambron

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