Specialist treatments for cancer patients

Today there is a rapid growth in aromatherapy treatments for cancer sufferers. The main aims are to help the body relax, and relieve stress, anxiety and pain.


In contrast to the theories of many years ago, research has shown that specialist massage of muscle and soft tissue does not spread cancer cells. Treatments are often short valuable sessions, which include gentle soft-tissue massage with specifically chosen essential oils.

For those in palliative care, the idea is to provide a sense of meaning and inner respite. Aromatherapy and other complementary medicine can improve the quality of life and quality of death. Treatment is ‘holistic’ and will incorporate physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being.  Today, patients with cancer and chronic illnesses are demanding a holistic approach to treatment, especially aromatherapy and the concept of therapeutic touch.

In recent years, it has been proven that the use of essential oils and complementary therapy is beneficial for everyone including those in residential homes, nursing homes, hospices and hospitals. Treatment is tailored for everyone, from those currently in active treatment, to those in recovery or survivorship, as well as for those at the end of life. The effects of treatment allow the central nervous system to relax, allowing the body space and time to heal. This can improve mood and physical symptoms after cancer treatment.

“Massage is not only beneficial for physical problems and general well-being but in helping to release negative emotions which become locked in the muscles and soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons.” Reich 19C.

Outcomes reported by clients following treatment:

  • Makes them feel whole again.
  • Helps them to relax.
  • Helps them share feelings in an informal setting.
  • Makes them feel more positive about their body.
  • Rebuilds hope.

Massages during cancer treatment have reported improvements in:

  • Sleep.
  • The health of scar tissue.
  • Quality of life.
  • Mental clarity and alertness.
  • The range of movement.

“Healing” in palliative care is the “letting go” of the desire to achieve health, acceptance of death, and facing it calmly and without fear or pain. The benefits are endless:

  • To improve well-being and quality of life, and relaxation.
  • Enhances the lives of those that are touch-deprived.
  • Reduces muscle pain and spasms.
  • Helps relieve tension, anxiety and depression.
  • Soothes joint inflammation.
  • Provides greater flexibility and range of motion.
  • Reduces tension caused by negative emotions.
  • Strengthens the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Promotes deeper and easier breathing, removes congestion from the lungs, aiding respiratory conditions.
  • Removes toxins from the body.
  • Enhances the health and nourishment of the skin.
  • Improves communication between the nervous system and organs.
  • Stimulates peristalsis, aiding digestion and reducing nausea.
  • Alleviates side-effects of chemotherapy.

Modern hospices aim to improve the quality of the end of life in a relaxed and non-clinical environment. The care and treatment of the patient is in the present, in the here and now and on all levels.

How do essential oils help?

They enter through the bloodstream in the following ways:

  • through the skin
  • through the nose to the lungs

How to help people who are on their last journey

Death has many similarities to birth with steps and stages along the way. It can often be slow and long. With the aid of healing touch, aromatherapy, reiki, colour and essential oils, this final journey can flow more smoothly with support.

Cancer and terminally ill

It is believed that the following oils have spiritual connections:

  • Frankincense
  • Cedarwood         
  • Rosewood
  • Neroli
  • Cypress
  • Bergamot
  • Rose

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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