I’m sure many spas, especially in the UK, were frustrated by the recent revelation of “spas treating people with cancer as lepers”. This was the headline in the UK’s Daily Mail and the subject of several articles and testimonials against spas – including one my team trained.
Great strides have been made in the past few years, with spas in over 40 countries investing in proper education in many modalities. But the fear that surrounds cancer and spa is due to lack of understanding.
The truth is that cancer itself cannot be spread by moving the lymphatic system with something as basic as a massage. If that was the case, doctors would tell patients to stay in bed as any movement can move the lymphatic system. Yet doctors actually encourage physical activity and movement and massage. In fact, the medical world has collected evidence-based research on how safe many spa and integrative modalities are including massage, facials, yoga, meditation and breathwork.
I’m filled with optimism that the industry will gradually turn as more skincare brands, hoteliers and spas realise the opportunities and invest in the changing needs of clients with cancer.
We need to educate skincare brands that cancer is not a skin type, for example. Many skin conditions are the same in others who are nutritionally deficient, dehydrated, stressed, have insomnia or are facing the menopause. What other entity, besides a results-orientated skincare brand, is best equipped to assist clients during this time? If they could do a little testing, they could help so many who want to keep their relationship with their favourite brand during a time when they need them most.
We need to see cancer as an opportunity for change. If we all take a step, we can all create a solution that not only shifts our industry but one that serves our clients with compassion.