Why I became  a  Massage Therapist

As I was taking a walk along one of my favorite beaches on the Cape many years ago, pondering what I wanted to be when I grow up. You  see, I was already a grown up and I was entering into another phase of my life. The kids were all grown and with families of their own and I wanted to do something different. I had been in sales but I was  finding it that wasn’t fulfilling anymore.  I had seen an add advertising a short introductory class  for massage. It was for those who wanted to know how to give their family member a massage. So talked it over with my husband and we decided it might be something to explore. So here goes. Well let me tell you, it was the beginning of my new career. That was almost 20 years ago. I fell in  love with  it then and I still love it now. I realized we all need to restore, reclaim and rejuvenate our body on a regular basis if we want to stay healthy and vital.

Using Nature as an  Example

Just as nature or the ocean is in a state of constant flux, why do we think we are any different? Our bodies are stressed, injured, hurting, or diagnosed with an illness. Now, as we get older we just don’t bounce back the way we did when we were kids.

My husband and I often say to each other “Gees, my mind is willing but my body isn’t,” I’m sure many of you can relate. That is why I got into massage therapy as a conduit for those individuals who are  seeking greater health and balance in  a very neurotic world and why I decided to specialize in Oncology Massage Therapy.

I’ve worked in the massage industry now for almost 20 years. Recently, I’ve added Oncology  Massage Therapy as one of my specialties. Oncology Massage Therapy is the adaptation of massage techniques to safely nurture the body for someone affected by cancer or its treatments.

MMid cape Massage therapist, Oncology massage Therapist,
Helene Illston MT,OMT


In my free time (when I find it) I love riding my bike along our beautiful Cape Rail Trails and through local neighborhoods just  to enjoy the splendor of colors that paint our yards. I am also a retired competitive rower, I’ll leave that to the younger women but who knows maybe I just might get into it again. Another favorite pastime is sewing. I’ve made most of my own clothes and for others and my family. Probably the most challenging piece I made was my daughter’s wedding dress and all the pearl beading that was hand sewn. Moving into the future I’m looking forward to teaching new massage students in their future professional careers. The future is here. I’m on the down side of teaching my very first class of massage students.  They are all doing really well and will make great massage therapists and I’m so proud of each of them.  I feel like a mother  watching her children becoming successful. 

The History of Massage

Massage has been used as a remedial therapy for centuries. Massage causes various physiological effects,which comfort the body. Manually kneading or manipulating the soft tissue to help reduce pain, stress,  minimize discomfort and to promote overall health and wellness.

Oncology Massage Therapy

Oncology Massage Therapy  is increasingly used to improve the quality of life for people affected by cancer to help manage the treatment and its side effects. Skilled touch is beneficial at nearly every stage of the cancer experience.  The modifications are tailored to how someone is feeling today.

Professional Affiliations

1. Society for Oncology Massage-  a preferred practitioner – (S4OM) is an international non-profit organization founded in 2007 to support and educate massage therapists, consumers and health professionals about the value and application of oncology massage. http://www.S4OM.org

2. Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals https://www.abmp.com/public – Proud  member of  ABMP . If you want to browse their websites you can look up current massage research and industry facts if you click on the “Research” tab on their website.or find a therapist in your area.

3. Cape Wellness Collaborative- (CWC)- Preferred Practitioner-  We have all been touched by cancer and Cape Wellness Collaborative has a vision  to make wellness services available to every person in Cape Cod community facing cancer. http://www.CapeWellness.org

4.. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) ​Becoming Board Certified shows you that the therapist is dedicated in their profession, having a higher level of achievement than that of an entry level massage therapist. It is a voluntary credential that I’ve obtained. Review their website if you’d like. http://www.ncbtmb.org

5. Massage Institute of Cape Cod- I am part of the faculty here at the school preparing students for their future in the art of therapeutic massage. http://www.capecodmassageschool.com

6. American Specialty Health – Preferred Practitioner- ASH is dedicated to providing a quality specialty health program of credentialed practitioners who share the goal of serving the health needs of  our members.