greet the day oncology spa massage and skin care

NURTURING WELL-BEING DURING AND AFTER CANCER TREATMENT

Safety. Comfort. Professional care.

Introduced in 2003, Greet The Day’s SPA program was the first program in the United States to establish oncology massage and skin care best practice standards at the spa.

Featuring guided meditation, restorative movement, and safe and soothing spa treatments, Greet The Day’s Spa Day Retreat provides a transition opportunity between clinical care and the practice of self care, and helps guests better understand ways in which they can nurture their own well-being.

During this program Greet The Day provides an opportunity for guests to experience the benefits of evidence-based mind/body self care modalities in a holistic wellness setting.

Being mindful of each patient’s unique needs and when the timing is optimal, the medical teams are best equipped to determine which of their patients should be referred to this much sought after program.

Spa Day Retreat guests are selected and referred by the medical teams at Greet The Day affiliated cancer centers

Spas are places devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional services such as massage, skin and nail care. An oncology-trained massage therapist, esthetician or nail technician can provide you with a safe and satisfying spa experience that is customized to meet your needs.

Guest Feedback

Why are survivor safety practices at the spa so important?

Some short term, lingering and late effects of medical treatment that require spa service modifications include:

• neuropathy and bone/joint pain
• medical devices such as ports and PICC lines
• blood clots or risk thereof
• compromised immunity
• fatigue, pain and medication side effects
• low white, red and platelet cell counts
• bone or vital organ involvement
• scar tissue
• lymphedema
• lymph nodes included in the field of radiation or removed during biopsy or surgery

How long do I need spa service modifications?

Some short term, lingering and late effects of medical treatment may require spa service modifications. Regardless of how long you have been out of treatment, spa service modifications may need to be considered. You should discuss this with your oncology-trained spa therapist.

Spa services are increasingly accepted as part of wellness-care during and after cancer treatment.

Greet The Day works closely with spas and all of their staff to help them better serve the needs of clients whose lives have been affected by cancer. The information on this website shares best care policies that we encourage your spa to adopt so that they can too.

GTD Spa Day Retreat Referring Cancer Centers
Listed in order of program enrollment:

BreastLink, CA
Patty and George Hoag Cancer Center, CA
Cancer Center of Irvine, CA
Mission Hospital Breast Center
Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center
Gynecologic Oncology Associates
Orange Coast Oncology Hematology
CHAO Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California
UCLA Hematology/Oncology
Hope Wellness Center
Todd Cancer Center, Long Beach Memorial
St. Joseph Health System

An oncology-trained therapist can safely provide you with a customized, safe and satisfying spa experience to meet your current needs.

 

Why spa?

Because it feels good and offers many benefits. An oncology-trained therapist, massage, esthetician and nail care, can safely provide you with a customized, safe and satisfying spa experience to meet your current needs.

Body, skin and nail care spa treatments all include massage as a core component of the service. Massage is in essence the provision of touch and includes a wide variety of touch applications. Spa clients report many positive changes after their oncology massage.

Reported massage benefits include:

  • reduce pain and fatigue
  • decrease anxiety and nausea
  • improve sleep
  • ease isolation
  • enhance body image

A facial is a skin care treatment to soothe, hydrate and protect the skin on the face, neck and shoulders. Love how your skin feels and looks by nourishing, revitalizing, and treating it well.

A facial includes a face, neck, shoulder and decollete (upper chest area) massage. Spa or therapist dependent a facial may include a hand and arm massage.

If you are in or have a cancer treatment history always work with a Society for Oncology Massage accredited spa therapist.

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An oncology-trained therapist can safely provide you with a customized, safe and satisfying spa experience to meet your current needs.

 

Spa Safety Tips

We understand that sometimes a person may prefer not to disclose that they are a cancer survivor. However, in the spa setting, this information is relevant and very important for your therapist to know. 

It is important for your best care to ask for an oncology-trained therapist. We encourage you to let your oncologist and oncology nurse know that you would like to receive massage, skin care and/or nail treatments.

When is the best time to schedule your spa service?
Unless your treatment team has advised you otherwise, you can decide when to receive your spa services.

Positioning is a question of comfort
Your physical comfort is very important. Let your therapist know which positions are most comfortable for you.

Undressing is optional
Your therapist will keep you covered throughout your spa service with only the area they are working on uncovered. Although most spa services are usually provided with little or no clothing being worn your therapist will be able to work around any garments you may prefer to leave on.

Facials are not “safer” than massage
One of the reasons spa guests may choose a facial instead of a massage is because they are concerned that laying face down during a massage will not be comfortable. Another reason is because of the false perception that a facial is gentler or “safer” than a massage. With the use of steam (exacerbates dehydration), heat mitts (elevated lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors), stroke direction/pressure (elevated lymphedema risk), and some products (too many to list here), a facial can be more “demanding” on the body than a massage would be.

Product choices
Yes, you do want to be selective regarding what products are used during your spa treatments. Product choices are most often determined by allergies, topical sensitivities, skin type and condition and personal preferences.

Jacuzzis, hot tubs, steam rooms and lymphedema
Lymphedema is a progressive condition without a cure and caution should be exercised to reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating lymphedema. Raising ones body temperature for an extended period of time for example in a jacuzzi can pose a risk. For more information about lymphedema and lymphedema prevention download The American Cancer Society’s “Lymphedema: What Every Woman With Breast Cancer Should Know” and please speak with your clinical team about their recommended guidelines.

 

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An oncology-trained therapist can safely provide you with a customized, safe and satisfying spa experience to meet your current needs.

 

Your spa service is all about YOU!

As the consumer you can get what you ask for. But you have to ask. Please always ask for a Society for Oncology Massage trained therapist. It is important for your best care.

Most people think of a massage as a head-to-toe, front and back, full body treatment. It can be this. But doesn’t need to be. Sometimes clients will ask for extra time spent on certain areas, or that other areas not be included in the massage. The option is yours and your therapist wants to be able to accommodate your preferences.

Facials and skin care
Stress, climate, rigors of day to life and cancer treatments place a tremendous demand on your skin. Professional skin care treatment can help nourish, hydrate and soothe your skin.

Hands, feet, nails, lip, eye
We use them all day and seldom stop to think about them. A hand and foot, or lip and eye treatment is a special treat and can be very restorative and help the whole body feel better.

A face massage is deeply relaxing and will often include acupressure point applications. If your skin needs some extra hydration your therapist may use a lotion, cream, oil or gel to help hydrate and nourish your skin.

The masseter (jaw muscle), often referenced as the strongest muscle in the body, is often included in a face massage. Any tightness and tension relieved in this area will have a ripple down effect and also help reduce tension in the neck, shoulders, and low back. Yes! Indeed. Everything is in fact connected.

A head massage can have a wonderful effect often felt over the whole body. Sometimes though during the initial hair-loss phase the hair and scalp feel like they hurt, this is temporary. You may not want to receive a scalp massage during this period. If you think receiving a scalp massage would feel good, your therapist can use an oil, cream, or nourishing mask, or no product at all.

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An oncology-trained therapist can safely provide you with a customized, safe and satisfying spa experience to meet your current needs.

 

Referrals and resources

Spa services such as massage, skin and nail care are increasingly accepted as part of wellness-care and spa clients in or with a history of cancer treatment place their trust in the hands of spas and their therapists.

As spas begin to collaborate more closely with medical care providers we believe it has never been more important that a uniform standard for therapist education be recognized, and believe that the education guidelines established by the Society for Oncology Massage best meet these needs at this time.

We encourage spas to adopt uniform therapist education standards so that their clients in or with a cancer treatment history, and the medical teams caring for them, can feel reassured when visiting or recommending spa-based wellness services.

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