Cancer Touch Therapy Training

Treating clients who are living with cancer has always been a controversial issue with many trains of thoughts on the subject. It’s taken me about 5 years of research and deliberation as to the best way to go about this, however, we have finally achieved it.

As a training organisation, I felt it was our duty of care to prepare our therapist for all eventualities and after meeting Jennifer Young at a conference, decided that it was something we just had to include.

I started off by looking at the various training provisions that there were, and whilst there are many, none of them suited our business model as was looking for collaboration with experts. The next option was to see if there were any qualifications available, there are and I managed to secure the support of 2 experts who could deliver across the range of treatments, reflexology, massage & aromatherapy.  On exploring this further, we realised that it didn’t suit our therapists and although we were confident that we could deliver a really valuable provision, after speaking to a number of our therapists we realised that it was in far too much depth and was better suited to end-of-life care.  The small group of experts then looked at writing our own course and gaining accreditation, however, at the time there was no ‘authority on standards for Touch in Cancer Care, and although we had an outline structure, were still deliberating over the content and structure.

Fast forward to September 2020, whilst on a City & Guilds National Advisory Board Zoom meeting, Kim Ford announced the launch of the Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care, founded by Susan Harmsworth MBE.  Susan is the name behind Espa and has spent a great deal of her working life involved with Spa development and firmly believes that a national standards authority for touch in cancer care is a revolutionary step for spas, therapists and most importantly consumers. Driven by this belief, Sue has joined forces with leading names in the spa and wellness industry to create a credible and recognised source for consumers, spas and therapists to unite in a common goal – to provide a safe haven and professional hands to those touched by cancer.

On chatting further with Kim, she urged me to speak to Susan about the platform and how my organisation could benefit from these connections, she kindly introduced me to Susan and in turn, Susan introduced me to Amanda Winwood from Made for Life Organics.  It’s very strange how the universe works as the previous week, I had found her company and had sent an enquiry email about the products for therapists to use in their treatments.  Amanda and I hit it off immediately, finding that not only did we have contacts in common, but we also had many beliefs and values.  I explained my vision for bringing Cancer Touch Therapies to my network and she introduced me to the products, courses and treatments that the organisation had developed with advice from trained oncology massage teachers and advisors at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Macmillan and of course, is SATCC-approved.

A match made in heaven!!  Our organisation has changed over the past 3 years, we now have reflexology assessment sites over the country, and we wanted all the sites to be able to part of this venture.  The course is delivered through blended training.  The delegates are sent the training materials and box of products and meet in the Virtual classroom for the learning.  This part is delivered by MFL head trainer Emma Williamson who also features in the treatment videos that show step by step the 4 different signature treatments: Hand on Heart – back, face and scalp treatment, Catch the Breath® – back and head treatment. Soothe & Nurture – organic facial. Touch Therapy – deeply relaxing touch.

After the virtual training, it was our opportunity to get hands-on bodies and we had about 6 weeks to practice the routines and get comfortable with the procedure and timings.  Some of us were able to do consultations on clients living with cancer so that we developed an understanding of what these clients were going through and think about how we would tailor a treatment for them.  Once the case studies were submitted, we then met in person.

Nine months of planning culminated in 10 assessors based around the country coming together to be assessed and of course, we all passed!

So, we now have Michelle in Essex, Berenice & Nicola in Hampshire, Jane in Cambridge, Laura in Somerset, Lynne in Cornwall, Lucy in Lancashire, Sarah-Jane in North Lincolnshire, Kathy in North Yorkshire & Samantha in North Wales.

With the exception of Scotland (and we’re working on that) we have a fabulous covering of assessment opportunities for therapists.  The requirement for training is a regulated qualification at level 3 for the body and level 2 for just the hands, feet & face. MFL also have corporate training and specialise in supporting Spa’s and larger organisations to ensure their therapists are confident in welcoming clients living with cancer.

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