About Cynthia Gillan

Specialty: Oncology massage
Education/Training: Muscular Therapy Institute, Cambridge, MA
Certifications: Muscular Therapy
Years in practice: Since 1993
Years at MGHCC: Since 2021

What drew you to your specialty? As a massage therapy student, I completed a volunteer requirement at a residential hospice and it had a profound impact on me. Over the years working in a variety of settings with different populations, oncology massage was always a constant thread that ultimately led to my teaching it as well. Having a family member and others in my life affected by cancer also influenced my decision to specialize in oncology massage.

What is your favorite part of your job? The people I work with – both patients and colleagues – make it a pleasure to come to work. This job is rewarding and challenges me to learn with every interaction.

What would you like to tell patients and their families about integrative therapies and your specialty? We are a team devoted to serving patients during an often-difficult period of their lives. Whether patients have experience with acupuncture, massage therapy, music therapy or art therapy or have yet to try integrative therapies, our aim is to provide a window of comfort and perhaps make a difference in terms of symptom relief. Patients sometimes think of our therapies as a welcome “break from cancer” while they are at the hospital!

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