Pulse March / April 2016 | Page 67

A Day in the Life! BY MAE MAÑAC AP-JOHNSON ROBIN JONES Oncology Certified Massage Therapist Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Corona, California hen Robin Jones attended Glen Ivy Hot Springs’ three-day oncology massage education program conducted by Greet the Day, a nonprofit organization that trains and educates spa staff on oncological methods and practices, the veteran massage therapist didn’t realize the profound impact the experience would have on her. On one particular day while working with a difficult oncology patient, she realized how most therapists would not have the confidence to provide such a demanding patient the healing touch she needs. “The thought of that broke my heart. They need the healing touch badly!” she says. This experience, along with a refreshed knowledge in oncology therapy (Jones had previously trained with Greet the Day prior to attending Glen Ivy Hot Springs’ program in March last year), inspired her to compile case studies based on her personal experiences dealing with her own oncology patients. Her goal, ultimately, is to create a resource and feedback tool so Glen Ivy therapists can share and W The life of a spa professional is a continuous cycle of daily responsibilities that help make the spa world go round. Pulse asks ISPA members to give us a sneak peek into their daily lives to help us understand the roles they play and the difference they make on a daily basis. reference the compiled oncology therapy scenarios and best practices. “I wanted to create a network of information, where the therapists could write down their experiences,” she says, sharing the inspiration behind her “case study” initiative. Out of the resource, she hoped to find out how her fellow Glen Ivy oncology massage therapists conducted the intake, what they gleaned from the intake and, using the information, how they created the framework for their massage. “I envisioned a [resource] where feedback, questions and answers take place. Questions like: Why did you ask that? Why didn’t you ask that? What did you base that decision on?” she says. “I thought that if we all shared our experiences, it would help keep the training fresh for everyone, and become a great learning experience for all.” Jones believes that the case study compilation will be a valuable tool, especially in helping therapists retain knowledge and keep the training fresh. “It’s easy to learn something new, but the retention of that knowledge is a different story. It takes hands-on experience and repetition in that experience to continue in the learning process and fully grasp the knowledge,” Jones says. She hopes that, by sharing actual case studies, she can help debunk the myth that massage therapy may cause cancer to spread in different parts of the body. “Many therapists still feel that cancer can be spread by massage therapy, and many more feel intimidated by the medical considerations. It is a shame for any client to be turned away from a healing touch. This is why the oncology training is so valuable,” she says, adding that the key to confidence is having the tools to assess a client and to develop a plan. While no ^\