Caring for Clients with Cancer

At the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing we offer safe, compassionate, effective forms of complementary care for clients who are living with cancer.

While living with cancer can be a challenging experience of how to live a "normal" daily life through times of extreme stress, pain, and fatigue many individuals also report this journey in their life to be one of profound personal growth. We at the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing are willing to be present and nurturing with caring hands and open ears during all aspects of your journey. We believe that by offering individuals care through a variety of services such as: Massage Therapy, Cellular Expansion & Healing, Reiki, Meditation, Visualization, Counseling, and Breathwork, clients will have the opportunity to be supported in ways that provide comfort, connection, and respect. By opening to receive support during their illness we hope to provide clients with useful tools to increase their awareness of stress signals, providing them with skills to become more mindful of their personal needs so that they may improve their quality of life.

Hands-on forms of bodywork, such as Oncology Massage, can be wonderful ways for clients with cancer to be supported body, mind, and spirit while living with cancer.

Study Suggested Benefits of Bodywork for Cancer Patients

Decreases Pain and Tension
Decreases Nausea
Decreases Fatigue
Decreases Anxiety & Depression
Improves Sleep
Increases Immune function to speed healing
Increases Relaxation
Increases mental clarity
Provides faster wound healing
Shortens hospital stays
Encourages deeper respiration
Assists in a more positive body image
Helps clients to "Feel like themselves again"

"By touching a body, we touch every event it has experienced. For a few brief moments we hold all of a client’s stories in our hands. We witness someone’s experience of their own flesh, through some of the most powerful means possible: the contact of our hands, the acceptance of the body without judgment, and the occasional listening ear. With these gestures we reach across the isolation of the human experience and hold another person’s legend. In massage therapy, we show up and ask, in so many ways, what it is like to be another human being. In doing so, we build a bridge that may heal us both."
--Tracy Walton, "The Health History of a Human Being,"
Massage Therapy Journal, Winter 1999.

Our massage therapists are trained to provide individual care to suit the needs of our clients living with cancer by modifying speed, pressure, positioning, length of session time and site involvement (such as IV’s, drains, skin conditions, edema, and any lymph node or bone involvement).

*We do ask for permission to contact a client’s oncology physician so that we may become more informed of any special concerns and/or precautions.

* Staying in communication with your therapist about; where you are in your course of treatment, changes in your condition, or side-effects from treatment is essential for your care.

"Being a cancer patient, there is a lot of stress that my body, mind and spirit experience on daily basis. My first encounter with PCCHH was in 2013 when my husband gifted me foot reflexology. I was not a massage person back then and was very hesitant. But, the moment I walked in, I fell in love with the place and the people. The place has a very calming ambiance and the staff is very friendly. Not to mention, you will always be welcomed by warm smiles, soothing aromas, comforting shoulder wraps and some hot tea! Since then, I have been regularly going to PCCHH for Oncology massage and Cellular Expansion therapy.
Nikki's healing touch has greatly helped me to ground myself and experience relaxation. It has greatly helped me to build confidence in my body and restore the faith that I can feel and be healthy again. I love how Nikki customizes my massage depending on what my body needs. My oncology massages are often combined with cellular expansion therapy and foot reflexology, and have greatly contributed towards my overall well-being. I am deeply appreciative of Nikki and all that she does. I am very thankful for PCCHH for helping me in my wellness journey! I look forward to my massage every month as a way to connect to my body and trust it to be healthy again." S. J

"I am a patient curently undergoing treatment for cancer. I wholeheartedly recommend the PCCHH for oncology massage. Beth is specifically trained in this area and it shows through her gentle technique and her attention to my trouble areas, such as muscle pain and neuropathy. The Center has a relaxing atmosphere, friendly staff, and is exceptionally clean." S.H.

Care for the Caregiver

Individuals who are living with cancer are not the only ones who are affected by the physical and emotional stress that comes along with illness. Family, friends, and caregivers are also fully impacted by the illness. While caring for a loved one can be very rewarding the demands that come along with the extra attention given can be extremely exhausting, leaving a person left with little time or energy for themselves. Caregivers will put aside care for their daily lives, physical needs, and emotions in order to be of assistance to their loved ones. It is essential for caregivers to take time during this exhausting period to allow themselves to be on the receiving end of care to avoid burn-out, fatigue, depression, and potential illness of their own. By taking this time for their own needs they will not only feel better, but they will be able to provide better care for the individual in their life.

Massage Therapy, Cellular Expansion & Healing, Reiki,  Visualization, Breathwork, and Meditation are also effective tools provided for Caregivers at the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing.