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Dec 16, 2022

A massage therapist has some clients who have battled breast cancer and had lymph nodes removed. They are active and healthy, and report no signs of lymphedema . . . and they want “massage as usual” on their affected arms.

Is that possible? Is it advisable? What could go wrong?

In this short, pithy discussion, Rebecca Sturgeon, co-author of Oncology Massage: An Integrative Approach to Cancer Care and educational director at Healwell, discusses the options that this practitioner might consider to keep those clients safe while offering satisfying bodywork.




Books of Discovery:  


Host Bio:        


Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at And more information about her is available at   


Recent Articles by Ruth:       


“Working with Invisible Pain,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, November/December 2022, page 36,


“Unpacking the Long Haul,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2022, page 35,


“Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Massage Therapy,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 33,


“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,    




Pocket Pathology:


Oncology Massage: An Integrative Approach to Cancer Care: