FAQ (10)

Who is eligible to receive Wellspring Journey services?

Massage will be provided to anyone with a life-altering diagnosis and their caregiver when referred by a medical professional, hospital, or oncology treatment center. There are a limited number of massage appointments available.

What is Wellspring Journey’s definition of massage?

While the definition of “massage therapy” covers a wide range of techniques/skills, massage provided by Wellspring Journey is:

“Skilled, systematic touch applied with sensitivity, caring and compassion by professionally trained therapists with the specific intent of increasing comfort, alleviating pain, complementing medical treatment, improving clinical outcomes, and promoting well-being”.

What is oncology massage? How is it different from other massage?

Oncology massage is a specific type of bodywork provided by trained massage therapists given to an individual who is either living with cancer or has in the past. This therapy is generally used alongside mainstream medicine to assist in lessening side effects of the curative treatments and to improve quality of life.

Unfortunately, there are many side effects of cancer treatments (nausea, fatigue, constipation, breathing difficulties, edema and immunosuppression). Massage has been proven to make the treatment process more tolerable. More and more people are turning to massage to help them with their healing; Wellspring Journey wants to bring this treatment to those who need it at no charge.

Oncology massage therapy is comfort-oriented; every session is customized for each person. The therapist, working with the permission of the individual’s oncologist, takes into account necessary accommodations including: amount of pressure, length of session, positioning, avoidance of certain spots on the body and side effects of medication.


What are the benefits of oncology massage?

Wellspring Journey’s goals are to provide safe and effective comforting touch to assist in alleviating stress, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia as well as reducing pain, edema and depression. WJP helps those we serve to shift focus from illness to healing.

Does research support the benefits of oncology massage?

Over the last few decades, massage therapy professionals have been performing scientific research and have found that massage is extremely beneficial to individuals with cancer. In fact, The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute advocate massage and manual pressure as ways to relieve pain without medicine. That being said, it is imperative that massage therapists receive the necessary training to assure safe and effective touch.

According to Harvard Medical School researchers, about 66% of children with cancer use some type of complimentary therapy, including massage. With many children experiencing the same symptoms as adults including pain and depression, alternative therapy can help make treatment more bearable and bring comfort to their parents.

How can massage help the caregiver?

According to the National Cancer Institute, “it is estimated that 1,638,910 men and women will be diagnosed with cancer and 577,190 men and women will die of cancer in 2012”. These numbers are staggering and unfortunately only tell half of the story. Loved ones, with the desire to help, surround every individual with cancer. These loved ones are faced with a whole other set of issues with which to deal. We believe that assisting to alleviate their stress, anxiety, and depression, through massage, will not only help them emotionally and physically, but will also transfer to their person in treatment for cancer. Offering comforting touch to caregivers helps remind them to take care of themselves so they can be more present for their person.

Wellspring Journey wants to be on the forefront of research regarding the effects of compassionate touch on caregivers. We will conduct research to determine effects on caregivers and how it translates to individuals with cancer.

Where do your massage therapists come from?

Oncology Massage therapists that represent Wellspring Journey meet these requirements:

  • Completed a 500 – hour massage therapy program from an accredited massage therapy school.

  • Completed an advanced training oncology massage program and/or training to provide massage to people who are medically frail as accepted by Wellspring Journey directors.

  • Has at least 2 years of active massage therapy experience.

  • Is currently licensed by state (MO) and /or local (MN & MO) laws.

  • Maintains professional liability insurance.

The massage therapists affiliated with Wellspring Journey will be paid for their time. The pay is reduced from what would be charged in their massage therapy studio.

Do I pay for massage from Wellspring Journey Project?

Services provided by Wellspring Journey are free of charge no matter what your income. The therapist will not accept a gratuity. If you would like to make a donation to Wellspring Journey it will be appreciated.

Where does funding to support the massage therapists, education outreach, and research provided by Wellspring Journey come from?

All services provided by Wellspring Journey will be funded through grants, private contributions, in-kind contributions and fundraisers. We have held several fundraisers and have a very involved board of directors who are willing to offer time and expertise.

Pat and Kelly are always seeking information on grants, foundations, trusts, – any philanthropic venture that may donate and support Wellspring Journey.

How do I donate?

Click on the Donate button of this web site. Or, mail donations to:

138 Cecil Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Specific instructions for use of the donation (Minneapolis or St. Louis; massage, education, research; “in honor of”; or dedicate for our care of a certain person; etc.) should be noted if desired.

We also accept goods that can be sold at our fundraiser “garage sale” in both Minneapolis and St. Louis. Please call 612-331-2071 to talk with Pat about arrangements to pick up or deliver these items.

Also accepting new items and gift certificates to be used in our silent auction and raffle events in both Minneapolis and St. Louis.

All donations are tax deductible. Wellspring Journey is a 501c3

If you have a question that has not been answered here please let us know.