A CANCER charity has become the first in Scotland to launch a new training academy to teach qualified massage therapists how to treat people affected by the illness.
Cancer Support Scotland decided to develop the course after hearing from patients who are routinely turned down for massage therapy over fears treatments encourage the disease to spread – despite there being no medical evidence of a link.
The new training academy is the brainchild of the charity’s award-winning head of service, Stephanie Quigley, who hopes it will allow trained masseurs the chance to expand their businesses.
READ MORE: Treat spiking like stalking and consider making it an offence in law, MSPs told
She said: “People often tell our staff and volunteers they have been turned away from salons and spas because they have a history of cancer.
“This happens due to myths that surround the condition, which come because of misunderstanding cancer and the treatments that are commonly given.
“Adapted massage by a trained therapist is perfectly safe for someone with a cancer diagnosis, and this is now accepted by oncologists nationally.”
Cancer Support Scotland is passionate about changing these misconceptions so that people affected by the illness have improved access to complementary therapies.
The fully accredited Federation of Holistic Therapies course offers a combination of online and practical training, with a diploma for those successfully completing it.
The charity believes those living with cancer will also benefit from more spas, saloons and private practices learning the skills.
Stephanie said: “People will have the chance to discover the knowledge and techniques to offer safe massage services for those receiving or having completed oncology treatment.
“We hope businesses will recognise the opportunities the course can bring, as well as what they in return will be able to give those facing or recovering from cancer.”
Cancer Support Scotland chief executive Rob Murray added: “We are proud to be leading the way with what we feel is an important step forward for those affected by cancer with the development of a training academy that we believe can be a real gamechanger for people coping with a cancer diagnosis.
“We are delighted to be able to share Stephanie’s expertise and skill set to help expand the availability of oncology massage across Scotland. I would encourage anyone interested in this service to reach out to us and get in touch.”
For more information visit cancersupportscotland.learnworlds.com