Four Seasons Resorts Bali has launched a groundbreaking Cancer Care Massage at its two spas, correcting misguided beliefs that prevent cancer survivors from enjoying the holistic benefits of massage.
Following intensive training with certified specialist Christine Clinton, Four Seasons Resorts Bali has launched the Cancer Care Massage at its two spas: the all-new Healing Village Spa at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, and Sacred River Spa at Four Seasons Sayan in the foothills of Ubud.
In a first for Indonesia, a dozen therapists from both spas completed training along with Regional Spa Director Luisa Anderson – herself a former oncology nurse who has seen first-hand the side effects of cancer treatments, and how massage can improve quality of life. The therapists were paired with women living with breast cancer known as “Bali Pink Fighters”, a support group of the Bali Pink Ribbon Foundation. The Pink Fighters participated in massage trials for the hands-on part of the two-week training, and shared their personal cancer stories.
“It was a very emotional training,” said Luisa, who is based at Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The therapists were so touched by their connection with the ladies from Bali Pink Ribbon Foundation, and the participants were grateful to be touched both physically and emotionally through massage – something the rest of us take for granted, but which they haven’t had access to until now.”
Luisa said many spas do not offer massage to cancer survivors, guests in active treatment or with a history of cancer as there is a misconception that massage can spread the disease. “In fact, massage can have a huge impact on treating the side effects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life – as long as there are appropriate training and protocols in place,” said Luisa. “Massage has been clinically proven to improve immune function, reduce pain and enhance sleep. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has derailed treatment plans for millions of cancer sufferers globally, and further impacted their quality of life.”
The Four Seasons training followed the Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care, recognised as the national standard in the UK and Ireland for spas, salons and therapists. Available as a 60-minute or 90-minute experience, the Cancer Care Massage uses bespoke oils to soothe dry or radiation-irritated skin, release scar tissue and provide lymph support.
It is a completely personalised experience and recommended at any stage during the cancer journey – pre-treatment, during treatment or rehabilitation – to soothe the nervous system, and increase the sense of calm and emotional support. Before the first session, the therapist conducts an in-depth consultation to find out the guest’s type of cancer, treatment and side effects. They then adjust the massage including body position, bed set-up, pressure and technique.
One of the Pink Fighters who took part in the massage trials at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay was Sari Ardani, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2018. She has had 21 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and surgery to remove the tumour.
“I felt so good after having the Cancer Care Massage at Four Seasons, like I had a new body,” said Sari. “It was very gentle and relaxing. Where I had the operation under my left arm, I have no more lymphatic nodes, so the massage really helped with blood circulation on the left side. I could feel the tension release in just a few minutes. The therapist also did some techniques to boost my metabolism. It’s a very special massage."
Ketut Ayu Karmila Wati was one of the Pink Fighters who participated in massage trials at Four Seasons Sayan. She has had a mastectomy and hysterectomy to treat breast and cervical cancer.
“I have been fighting cancer for 15 years. I cannot get a massage like that anywhere else in Bali, it’s very special. The technique was gentle and soft, and the therapist was very caring and professional. After the treatment, I felt fresh – really relaxed and my body felt good especially around the area where I lost my breast.”
The Cancer Care Massage is the first step towards comprehensive self-care programmes being launched at Four Seasons Resorts Bali in 2021, led by resident wellness experts. The retreats will cater for people at various stages of the cancer journey, incorporating sleep therapy, chromatherapy, sound healing, touch therapy, energy rebalancing, yoga and meditation, and good nutrition.
Menus at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay have been created in collaboration with certified nutritionist Miles Price (Life Clinic, Hong Kong), and Four Seasons Sayan has launched vegetarian menus inspired by the holistic Satvvic philosophy.
“Our intention is to complement and support cancer treatment plans with programmes centred around mindfulness, healthy lifestyle and nutrition,” said Luisa. “We have expanded and reconceived our two Spas and are proud to have resident experts like Wellness Mentor Ibu Fera (creator of the Sacred Nap); Spa & Wellness Manager Faraaz Tanveer (an award-winning yoga and qigong teacher); new menus created with our world-class chefs; and training by international practitioners who have broadened the knowledge and skills of our Balinese therapists. We are now ready to offer a much deeper level of holistic wellbeing than ever before.”
If you wish to speak to the spas to find out more, please use the contact information below:
Healing Village Spa: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +62361701010
Sacred River Spa: email@example.com, phone +62361977577