Marvel of massage therapy helps patients in treatment

During cancer treatment, a soothing massage or facial can provide a moment of relaxation when it's needed the most.

Telford-based beauty therapist Emma Louth brings a little relaxation to cancer patients
Telford-based beauty therapist Emma Louth brings a little relaxation to cancer patients

Not only can it help to ease symptoms such as pain, nausea and mood issues but it can also greatly enhance a person's wellbeing.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to find salons catering to the needs of those living with cancer due to the availability of trained therapists and common misconceptions surrounding the illness.

Telford-based beauty therapist Emma Louth believes everyone deserves the right to a soothing salon experience and to leave feeling pampered and beautiful.

She has more than 28 years of experience in the beauty and health industry and has been specialising in oncology massages and facials since completing her training in 2019.

Since then, Emma has witnessed both the physical benefits and the mental health boost these therapies can offer people undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment.

Being able to make her clients feel special during one of the most difficult and vulnerable times of their lives is something that she takes pride in.

And it is a cause that is also very close to her heart as she moved into this specialist field after her mum, Karen McNamara, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"My mum loved to have treatments and had treatments with me for years. It became apparent that I couldn't do certain treatments because of the oils and techniques that were used.

"It was horrible not being able to offer her something that she really needed and wanted to be able to feel as normal as possible," explains Emma.

At that time, a lack of education within the industry and prohibitive insurance policies meant cancer patients faced being turned away from regular beauty salons.

Upset about not being able to provide her mum with something she could enjoy, Emma decided to take positive action to help others going through the same experience.

"I did a bit of research as I was having quite a few clients at that time that were going through some cancer journeys."

She discovered Jennifer Young - a business focused on specialist products for those living with cancer as well as oncology touch therapies.

Jennifer’s entry into the world of cancer support came when she was asked by her local hospital to work with them to create a skincare line that would be safe and help tackle some of the skincare issues associated with cancer treatment.

She later extended her mission to tackling barriers in the spa and wellbeing industries when it comes to delivering touch therapies that are industry accredited and insurance approved.

The aim is that anyone with or recovering from cancer can enjoy a massage, facial and other therapies in a way that ensures the spa or healthcare practitioner feels confident, the client feels safe and that the treatment proactively addresses their wants and needs.

After her mum passed away, Emma embarked on a training course with Jennifer Young where she was taught about the different types of cancer and the medical treatments and drugs that are used to treat them as well as the possible side effects of the drugs and how massages and facials can be adapted to take these into account.

Emma's salon provides a safe and welcoming environment where a patient doesn’t feel pressured or on display - they can simply relax and let her take care of them.

"The main goal of oncology massage is to help a cancer patient feel as comfortable as possible, giving them a safe environment in which we help them to relax and reduce symptoms," she says.

"Oncology massage can be used to treat cancer symptoms such as pain, nausea and mood issues, but also to ease symptoms of cancer treatment that commonly cause considerable discomfort.

"Oncology massage is also often used as part of palliative care, and many hospitals and healthcare professionals either offer it or recommend it as a useful treatment to support patient wellbeing."

The benefits of oncology massages and facials said to include the reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, an improvement in mood, a reduction in general fatigue and reduction of pain, perception of pain and nausea.

"These treatments are much-needed. It's nice for people to do something fun, to have something to look forward and to have that 'me-time' where they can feel 'normal'.

"It's like treating their soul, it really helps them. Ladies come in for their treatment and they are like different people when they leave because they have been able to relax for the first time in a long time," says Emma.

In her spare time, Emma has volunteered for Look Good Feel Better and Severn Hospice, which she says has allowed her to continue her work in supporting people to feel their best.

Although she enjoys be able to provide every treatment she offers her clients, she says having the opportunity to specialise in oncology massages and facials is the most rewarding part of her job.

"I feel very gifted that I'm able to do this for somebody because it's something I would have loved to have done for my mum. To be able to help somebody during their cancer journey is wonderful," says Emma.

For further information about oncology massage and its benefits, see or email

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