A guide to providing beauty treatments to those affected by cancer

We all know the benefits of a fantastic treatment to your health and wellbeing, making you feel better as well as look better. Sadly, for many people who have been affected by cancer, those who most need a boost, it can be hard to find a salon or spa that is fully qualified to treat them.

Beauty therapists are in a unique position to be able to provide treatments and support to those who need it most, once they have undergone appropriate training. Being able to help others, often seeing an immediate effect in clients, is really rewarding for any therapist and even more so if the person has been unwell.

As recent media coverage has highlighted it is important that you are properly trained in providing treatments, especially massage, to those either undergoing cancer treatment or in recovery from cancer. There are several implications to consider; from practical adaptations that need to be made and what products to use, through to client care and insurance requirements.

Recent research has suggested that as many as one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer by 2020 so unfortunately the demand for dedicated treatments is only set to increase. All the main cancer charities recognise that massage therapy can have beneficial effects. Macmillan states on its website: “Some studies of people with cancer suggest that massage therapy reduced symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue.”

At BABTAC we have compiled a list of training providers. Some focus on massage while others cover different treatments and how to adapt them. Most will also look at practical considerations together with developing relevant consultation and communication skills. With a range of options available you should be able to find a course to match your location and budget.


The Made for Life Foundation

This registered charity runs a three-day Cancer Touch Therapy training course, for Level 3 qualified therapists, giving spa managers and therapists the confidence to welcome those going through or recovering from cancer.
Courses are held throughout the year at their Cornwall offices, around the country and on-site at spas where four or more therapists can attend.

Amethyst Trust

The Amethyst Trust is a charitable trust and during their one-day course they focus on teaching therapists how to provide massage therapy safely and with confidence.
There are dates scheduled at Amethyst’s Gloucester centre and as well as training on-site for a minimum of six therapists.

London School of Massage

The College runs a three-day course on Cancer Massage Therapy which aims to help Level 3 qualified practitioners work safely and effectively with clients with cancer, both as a programme for aiding recovery as well as palliative care. The sessions run at the College throughout the year, and get booked up early.

Jennifer Young - Beauty despite Cancer

The Jennifer Young Training School provides a wide range of courses covering everything from massage through to facial and nail treatments. The sessions take place across the UK as well as the UAE and Asia. They are also able to train in-house in spas and large salons.

As always, our Good Practice Guide is a great source of information on all matters affecting therapists including treating clients with different health conditions, our stance on treating clients with cancer has been approved by Macmillan. A new issue of the guide will be coming out to all members this year and check out our website for a detailed blog on the subject.