Ask the Expert: Massage therapy

Ask the Expert: Massage therapy

Laura Riniker is a licensed massage therapist trained in massage for cancer patients, lymphatic massage, orthopedic massage and Table Thai massage. “It’s so reward to see patients come through cancer and know we were there for them,” said Laura Riniker, licensed massage therapist.

Why is massage therapy beneficial for cancer patients and survivors?

Anxiety is a huge issue with cancer patients. Massage can help you relax and feel more positive about your body. But the benefits go beyond stress relief. After surgery, massage can help break down scar tissue. For those with mild swelling from lymphedema, we can gently redirect fluid to other areas.

Is massage safe for cancer patients?

Yes. A light, relaxing massage is safe for people at all stages of cancer. An experienced therapist knows how to modify pressure, position and technique to accommodate recent surgeries or treatment-related side effects.

Why choose a therapist experienced with cancer patients?

Everything we do is with health in mind. Breast cancer survivor Robin Crow says, “I appreciate that the massage therapists know what I’m going through so I don’t have to explain.”

Can anyone get a massage at the Community Cancer Center?

Yes, but cancer patients receive a special reduced rate. It reflects the Center’s holistic approach of focusing on the whole person and not just the disease. We meet regularly with the nurses, exercise therapist and nutritionists to make sure we’re working together, doing what’s best for each patient.

How often should I get a massage?

Most people come on a regular basis. Mindy Jellison, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010, calls massage therapy at the Community Cancer Center her reward for good behavior, adding, “I’m a firm believer everyone should do it. It improves your mental well-being.”

For more information about massage therapy at the Community Cancer Center, call (319) 369-8161.

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