Massage Therapy


Pain control is often a major concern for patients with cancer. Medical massage therapy, one of many integrated care services available at the Swedish Cancer Institute, is a proven technique in the control and management of pain.

What Is Medical Massage Therapy?

Medical massage is a therapy in which licensed massage therapists apply pressure to the soft tissues of the body to stimulate nerves and increase blood flow. This in turn relaxes muscles and relieves stress. The goal is to relieve tension and anxiety, which can lead to decreased pain and a reduced need for pain medications.

Benefits of Medical Massage Therapy

Medical massage therapy has been found to help relieve symptoms related to cancer, as well as side effects from related treatments and medical procedures, such as nausea, fatigue, insomnia, pain, restricted range of motion and distress. Specialized techniques can address edema and lymphedema management.

Other benefits for cancer patients may include:

  • Pain reduction
  • Increased relaxation
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Improved circulation and function

Research has shown that massage stimulates and awakens the natural healing process of the body to restore health and well-being. Attentive relaxation massage has greatly benefited many cancer patients and caregivers both physically and emotionally.

What to Expect

Shelagh Lane, licensed massage and certified lymphedema therapist, works closely with your care team to tailor each session to your unique needs. The 60-minute sessions may include appropriate massage techniques, gentle stretching, and manual lymphatic drainage, with careful attention paid to depth of pressure and positioning requirements. Massage may be done directly on the skin or through clothing, all within the patient’s comfort level. Patients should consult with their oncologist or patient-care team before receiving a massage.

Appointments & Referrals

For more information or to schedule a medical massage therapy session: 

Phone: 206-527-9709
Fax: 206-526-2991
Send an email
Referrals required.