By Shelby Jones, ISPA

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner in October, many spas are helping to raise awareness and funds that benefit breast cancer research. (Read last night’s post on actionable ways YOU can help for BCA Month.) Known for their focus on healing and wellness, it’s no surprise that spas and spa product companies are offering special treatments, raising money and volunteering time for the cause.  Many spas around the country have therapists trained in oncology massage which adapts traditional massage techniques to safely provide relaxation and pain relief for cancer patients.

This type of massage focuses on helping the body heal. It can aid in reducing the symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, constipation, lack of appetite, insomnia and pain. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2011 alone. According to ISPA’s research, seventy percent of spa-goers are women, and almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by the disease.

The No. 1 reason people worldwide go to the spa is to reduce stress. Coping with cancer can put a tremendous amount of stress on patients and their loved ones. The spa industry provides a nurturing and relaxing environment for healing the mind, body and spirit.

Call your local spa and inquire about therapists who are trained in oncology massage. You can help the cause by visiting a spa that donates a portion of their proceeds to breast cancer research. Many spas will have special products in their retail areas from companies who donate proceeds to breast cancer awareness organizations in October.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA  headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please email her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!