“Anna” was an oncology massage client of mine who had been battling cancer for over 20 years as well as the horrible side-effects from the treatments on the rest of her body. She referred to herself as the “Cancer Muse” due to her experience and attitude about the disease, however, and was always cheerful and full of life.
Since she had chemotherapy numerous times in the course of her decades-long treatment, she had suffered peripheral neuropathy of her hands and feet due to the chemotherapy agents. During one of our sessions, I asked if she would like to have a peripheral neuropathy treatment performed on her hands? After explaining the treatment to her and the possible benefits, she indicated that it would be appreciated and if any improvement was made, it would be incredible!
I performed a peripheral neuropathy treatment I had learned at a Society for Oncology Massage Healing Summit conference I had recently attended and gave her a hand-out of the steps involved in case her husband was interested in doing the treatment on her as well. She thanked me for the treatment and left my office.
A few days later, she called me and was amazed that she had regained some feeling in her fingers! She said she had not been able to feel her fingers in years and it was wonderful! She also indicated that she would be having her husband continue the treatment to her hands and also perform it on her feet. Anna always appreciated the Oncology Massage she received but seemed especially appreciative of the treatment that day, which had given her back the sense of touch.
After describing this experience at a presentation I was teaching on Oncology Massage, a former massage school student of mine, who had severe diabetes, asked if the treatment could also work on neuropathy from that disease? Diabetes treatments are out of my scope of practice but I asked him to let me know if it worked, if he decided to practice on himself. The next time I saw him, a month later, he was excited to inform me that it had definitely helped his diabetic peripheral neuropathy as well!
I am often humbled and amazed at the true power of touch! These were two such instances I will never forget.