in the Life!
BY MAE MAÑAC AP-JOHNSON
Oncology Certified Massage Therapist
Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Corona, California
hen Robin Jones
attended Glen Ivy Hot
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!”
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
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 ^\