Success Stories: Adaptive Treatments for Cancer Patients
Last year, Five Wellbeing Studio + Spa partnered with Wellness for Cancer to adapt wellness treatments specifically to the needs of those affected by cancer, including cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers. The Wellness for Cancer program teaches providers to create a non-clinical environment so the guest can experience a feeling of normalcy and treat themselves to self-care.
Why take this step? Because Five Wellbeing founder and owner, Betsy Abrams had walked-this-walk and knew the needs of those whose lives are affected by cancer. "People that have been affected by cancer feel like they are always a patient," says Abrams. "I know because I lost my husband to cancer.
“We took on this training and approach to this particular community because we wanted to provide a safe and mindful experience for anyone touched by cancer," she adds. "That can be someone newly diagnosed, experiencing cancer at any stage, a cancer survivor, and also cancer caregivers.”
So train they did. All Five Wellbeing front desk staff learned specific verbiage that allows for compassion and empathy for the guest while guiding them towards treatment options that will best serve them. Moreover, all Five Wellbeing therapists took hands-on training about how best to create a safe and comfortable environment for the client. The therapists learned training protocols for each of the Spa treatments; the protocols guide the therapists toward the best support possible for each individual client, based upon where the client is in their cancer experience.
Because Five Wellbeing employed the Wellness for Cancer comprehensive program for the entire spa, the approach has proven to be very holistic. All staff (including the front desk) has tools needed to interact in a caring way, while honoring whatever the current process the guest may be going through.
"We offer a healing and nurturing environment rather than a clinical massage," she says. "People that have been affected by cancer long to feel good. At Five Wellbeing they are treated like a guest. Because of our training we are able adapt our treatments to each client based on their current needs."
Protocols and treatments have been adjusted to accommodate the various needs of cancer patients. In addition, Five Wellbeing offers complimentary or reduced rates for caregivers.
"The truth is that this specialized training has altered us as much as it supports and helps the guest," says Abrams. "You approach your client and your work in a deep and mindful way and you, the therapist, are positively altered in that process."
Translate the Success:
Interested in offering specialized treatments for cancer patients? Other ISPA members have worked with organizations like ABMP, AMTA and Wellness for Cancer on continuing education programs for their therapists. Don't forget to reach out to local hospitals or cancer care groups, too: local partnerships are a powerful way to make an impact in your community while increasing your spa's local profile and attracting a new clientele.