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Order by Phone (USA) 1 800 741 5716



Maureen Abson - Oncology Massage Instructor  


Not only is correctly applied massage for someone with cancer not harmful, it can be incredibly helpful

For many years, having or having had cancer was seen as a contraindication to massage, unless it was end-stage cancer where the benefits of massage have always been recognized.

Even when someone had finished treatment and had been discharged from the care of the oncologist, massage could be denied.

This reserve and misconception is still evident in some of the available publications. For example: “Cancer can spread through the lymphatic system, and because massage increases lymphatic circulation, it may potentially spread the disease as well.”

A number of spas and clinics will still not massage people who have, or have a history of, cancer.

However, this is a view not now supported by the main cancer bodies and support groups.

Current Advice

The organization Cancer Research UK says “Some people worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body. No research has proved this to be true.”

Macmillan Cancer Support says something very similar: “Some people worry that massage could cause cancer cells to spread to other parts of their body, but research has not found any evidence of this.”

Massage Today magazine states “Most massage therapy schools taught that cancer was a contraindication for massage. The two main concerns of how massage therapy could spread cancer involved its effects on circulation and the cancerous tumors. Research continues to dispute the original concerns that massage therapy can spread cancer. The support to dispute this myth grows each year through credible experts and numerous studies.”

The Cancer Council of New South Wales explains this further: “Cancer may spread (metastasize) into the lymphatic system via the lymph nodes, or it may start in the lymphatic system itself. However, the circulation of lymph – from massage or other movement – does not cause cancer to spread. Researchers have shown that cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA (genetic mutations) and other processes in the body.”

Not only is correctly applied massage for someone with cancer not harmful, it can be incredibly helpful.

Anxiety and Stress

Having a diagnosis of cancer is for most people a traumatic and isolating time. They may feel that they have no control over their body, that their body has let them down, and despite the very caring and careful work by oncology units, cancer treatments are “given” or “done to” the body.

High-tech and potent medical treatments can dominate life, while the worry about the outcome of both the disease and the treatments can take over the mind and cause extreme stress and anxiety.

Massage can provide a profoundly therapeutic touch during this time. The Cancer Council of New South Wales reports that receiving massage during cancer can have real positive benefits, including making the person feel “whole again.” It allows people to share feelings in an informal setting. It can help people feel more positive about their body and rebuild hope.

Benefits of Massage

A large American study looked at the effects of massage therapy on almost 1300 individuals with cancer over a three-year period. People in hospital had a 20-minute massage, and others treated as outpatients had a 60-minute massage session.

The study found that, overall, massage therapy reduced pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. The benefits lasted longer in the patients who had the 60-minute session.


Many health care professionals recognize massage to be a useful noninvasive addition to standard medical treatments.

Therapeutic massage is most often given by trained massage therapists, although caregivers can also be trained in safe massage techniques.



NAT Oncology Massage Course


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As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!

Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.

Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.

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About Niel Asher Education

Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).

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We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

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Award Winning Instructors

Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

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If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.

In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.

There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

Most of our courses are accredited for CE/CPD/CPE. A full list of CE accreditations can be found by clicking on the link below. 

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Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

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Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions, wherever you live. Internet connection is required to access online and downloadable material.

When you purchase a download edition, you receive immediate lifetime access to all course material. Course texts can be downloaded and printed if required. 

When you purchase a "Printed" edition, you will also receive free access to the download edition.

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We offer a range of over 50 courses, presented by some of the worlds leading manual therapists. All courses are reviewed annually, and new courses are regularly added.

Our courses are modular, and designed to build on what you already know. For more information, please visit our "Where to Start?" page.

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Oncology Massage Course

NAT Oncology Massage Course

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