In the winter of 2010, a group of Oncology Massage Therapists got together to honor our family and friends who were battling cancer. One friend, Rob Hill inspired us (see on Read Rob’s Blog below to hear his story) and we decided it was time to make a difference. We helped form the Rob Hill Just Believe (RHJB) Foundation through the generosity of Rob’s mother, Betty Kuhl. RHJB is, in part, dedicated to providing our program at Texas Oncology Midtown location. In order to expand our program to other infusion rooms in the area, we soon after created the Oncology Massage Alliance and hope to expand to many other locations throughout Texas and into other states.
OMA’s Mission, Vision and Goals
To help reduce stress, promote healing, provide emotional support and improve quality of life for cancer patients through oncology massage therapy.
To increase public awareness of the healing power of massage therapy by oncology trained massage therapists.
- To provide treatment by oncology trained massage therapists that offers comfort, relaxation and stress reduction to people living with cancer and/or who have had a history of cancer.
- To aid the integrative work of cancer treatment centers by providing oncology trained massage therapists who administercomplimentary hand and foot massage therapy to cancer patients and caregivers in a collaborative environment.
- To offer financial assistance to licensed massage therapists for advanced training through approved third-party oncology massage classes and to provide hands-on experience with cancer patients.
- To help educate patients, caregivers and healthcare providers about the many benefits that oncology massage can bring tothose affected by cancer.
- To participate in well-planned research projects for the purpose of identifying the effects of massage therapy on people undergoing cancer treatments.
- To give back to communities by participating in community outreach events, such as wellness fairs, cancer support gatherings and sporting events to help spread the word about massage therapy for cancer survivors.
Oncology massage therapy is a type of massage that is specific to a person who is living with cancer and for those who have had a history of cancer. This comfort-oriented massage is tailored for each individual, from those in active treatment to those in recovery or survivorship, as well as for those at the end of life. Adjustments to the massage, such as type of pressure and avoidance of affected areas in the body as well as side effects from medications and treatments are taken into account so that a safe and beneficial massage can be given. A properly trained oncology massage therapist can safely provide comfort, stress reduction and relaxation at any stage of a cancer journey.
Oncology Massage Alliance (OMA) provides no-cost hand and foot massages to anyone undergoing cancer treatment while in the infusion centers and radiation areas. OMA offers a compassionate and skilled touch that would help decrease stress to cancer patients during chemotherapy and pre-and post-radiation treatments. By providing our service at no charge to patients and their caregivers, we hope to lessen the stress of additional financial burdens. In addition, OMA’s presence in medical facilities brings awareness to the public about the benefits of oncology massage therapy for cancer survivors.
OMA aspires to partner with healthcare institutions, professionals and insurance companies to procure enough funding so that oncology massage therapy will be included in every patient’s cancer care plan. Once OMA’s program has been established, we believe that the services that are valued by patients will encourage healthcare institutions to procure and expand OMA’s services through a variety of options:
- To obtain OMA services by providing annual donations to OMA as a cost-effective means of maintaining oncology massage therapy services from oncology-trained massage therapists in their facilities.
- To hire OMA therapists as independent contractors; OMA would simply provide recruitment services, professional massage therapy continuing education support, and consultation if requested.
- To hire the OMA therapists as staff at which point OMA would officially relinquish its services or be utilized for recruitment purposes only.
Oncology Massage Alliance, a 501(c)3 Federal tax exemption nonprofit, a State of Texas and State of Oregon registered nonprofit foundation.