Industry pros unite to tackle problems of treating cancer patients in spas

A group of spa and wellness professionals has formed a notfor- profit organisation called TPOT in a bid to overcome the obstacles that often prevent cancer patients from receiving spa and salon treatments.

TPOT stands for The Power of Touch and is led by Michelle Hammond, spa consultant and leader of The Spa Life Academy. The group is now talking to training providers, insurers and spa groups to try to change attitudes.

Issues it is looking to tackle include the difficulty many spas face securing insurance to treat people who are undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment, as well as the approach taught on college courses, which usually advise therapists not to treat cancer patients without a doctor’s note.

The group has also begun creating a hub via its website, where spas, and salons can access research, case studies and information on training and insurance that will allow them to open up their offer to cancer sufferers.

TPOT also aims to promote awareness of the facts via education and media. TPOT was formed on the back of research by Spa Life Academy, also run by Hammond, which found there were widespread misconceptions in the spa industry. For example, many thought massage could spread cancer via the lymphatic system. The research also found that massage and holistic treatments had substantial benefits for cancer sufferers but that many had been turned away from spas and salons.

Members of TPOT’s “round-table team”, which met in London in June, include Sue Davies, naturopath at Lifehouse Spa, Essex, Dr Peter Mackereth of The Christie Foundation NHS Trust, Jennifer Young of Beauty Despite Cancer, Rochelle Saneria of LCBT, and Professional Beauty editor Eve Oxberry.

The organisers are now calling on any spas, salons or suppliers interested in getting involved or supporting the group to sign up via its website at

This story first appeared in the July issue of Professional Beauty. To make sure you're always the first to read the news, subscribe online or just £4.99 a year for 12 digital issues or £37 for an annual 12-issue subscription.