Nim Osborne is a member of Oncology Massage Limited (OML) an Australian not for profit training organisation, teaching previously qualified Remedial Massage Therapists, how to work safely and effectively with any person with a history or diagnosis of cancer. OML encourages an integrative approach that involves all members of a person’s care and support team.  With a nationally standardised training program, the training is the only one of its kind in the world.


Oncology massage is a form of massage therapy designed to safely work on cancer patients. It incorporates and modifies several massage therapy techniques and adjust them according to the needs and comfort of the patient. The difference between oncology massage and regular massage is the amount of pressure applied. Oncology massage therapist have to be thoughtful of the pain of the patients and respect their comfort.


Aside from the improvement of physical symptoms, people living with cancer say that getting a massage:

  • Helps them to relax

  • Makes them feel good and whole again

  • Helps them share their feelings in an informal setting

  • Makes them feel more positive

  • Rebuilds hope

Light, relaxing massage are generally safe for people living with cancer. It should be remembered to avoid massaging tumour or treatment sites to prevent feeling discomfort or pain. Also, several research has revealed that massage does not contribute in spreading cancer cells.


Several scientific studies have investigated the effects of various body-based practices such as massage therapies on people living with cancer and patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. These studies have revealed that massage helps in reducing:

  • Pain

  • Chemotherapy-related nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Stress

  • Headaches

  • Chronic pain

  • Anxiety and depression

Also, patients who received massage therapies have shown several positive results such as improvements in:

  • Sleep

  • Scar tissue health

  • Quality of life

  • Mental clarity

  • Alertness

  • Range of movement