Cancer patient masseuse encouraging others to help

A Meadow Springs massage therapist has donated her time helping people with cancer for five years, and is encouraging other qualified therapists to do the same. 

While also running her own massage business, Karen Giamboi volunteers for the Cancer Council’s therapy program that offers patients massage, reflexology, reiki and beauty therapy for free. 

Ms Giamboi said she treated her father who had a terminal illness and understands how therapy can help patients relax. 

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“My father was in palliative care, and my mother and I looked after him,” she said. 

“Massage and reflexology made a huge impact...he was calmer and more relaxed.”

Ms Gamboi applied for the volunteer tole after seeing an advertisement, and said it was a good opportunity to help others.

“It’s not hard, and I think my father’s illness was a motivating factor for me,” she said. 

Ms Gamboi said the service was centered around the client’s needs. “We bring back that nurturing element,” she said.

“All the medical procedures they are are undergoing are impersonal and invasive.

“We try and make them slow down and look after themselves.”

Carers needed support too, Ms Gamboi said. 

“Being in that situation myself, you just shut down,” she said. “You’re no good to the person you’re looking after if you’re not looking after yourself.” 

Scientific studies have shown that massage reduces pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and nausea, in patients with cancer who have had chemotherapy and surgery, according to the Cancer Council. 

A Cancer Council spokeswoman said the Rockingham support centre recently merged with Dot’s Place Peel, and they needed more volunteers.

“We have patients on a waiting list up until August,” she said. 

“We’re currently looking for qualified therapists to join our incredible volunteer team at Dot’s Place in Greenfields.

The spokeswoman said the centre would tailor a roster to suit the volunteers availability. 

Applicants can contact Dot’s Place directly on 6389 7830 or send an email to eyoung@cancerwa.asn.au.