Massage Therapy

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy involves structured touch, holding, pressure and manipulation of the soft tissues in the body to promote healing and a sense of well-being. There are different approaches to massage, all of which emphasize a personalized, one-on-one method of care that can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

What are the benefits of massage?

Studies have shown that massage therapy has a positive impact on the mind and body and can be beneficial in managing the side effects of many medical conditions. 

In general, massage relieves muscle tension and stress, reduces anxiety and fluid retention, improves sleep, and restores hope. But exactly how massage affects the individual depends on the type of therapy administered. We offer several different types of massage at UK HealthCare, including:

Relaxation massage

A relaxation or Swedish massage helps reduce stress, soothe and calm the body. Treatment consists of flowing strokes, kneading and gentle manipulations of the muscles performed at a lighter pressure. Benefits can reduce inflammation, stress, soreness and blood pressure. Relaxation massage also enhances sleep, circulation and overall well-being.

Therapeutic massage

A therapeutic massage incorporates firm, focused movements to help address a specific problem, such as pain or tightness, by manipulating muscle tissue to promote structural changes within the body. Benefits may include improved range of motion, less pain and reduced swelling. 

Oncology massage

Oncology massage therapy is designed for those undergoing cancer treatment or who have had cancer treatment in the past. It helps relieve short- and long-term side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. UK HealthCare licensed therapists are specially trained in cancer massage and will adapt massage techniques to each patient's unique health situation.

Prenatal massage

Prenatal massage can help manage the side effects of pregnancy, such as pain and discomfort in the back and shoulders, joint and muscle strain, fluid retention, and anxiety. Prenatal massage is offered only for women in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy.


Reiki provides a sense of calm and promotes relaxation, as well as pain reduction and improved sleep through a gentle placement of hands above the body, using life-force energy to facilitate the process of healing. Reiki can be added to any massage session.


Aromatherapy is the use of fragrance, specifically essential oils and other aroma compounds, to improve physical or psychological well-being. Scents such as lavender, citrus, ginger and peppermint have been shown to relieve some of the side effects of illness, such as nausea and pain. Aromatherapy can be added to any massage session for an extra fee.

Who can participate in massage therapy at UK HealthCare

Patients and their family members, UK HealthCare faculty and staff, and community members can all take advantage of the massage services we provide. Should you have any questions or concerns about physical limitations that may affect your ability to receive a massage, please talk to your physician and consult our massage therapy staff.

Meet us

Massage therapists at UK HealthCare are specially trained to care for those with illness or injury, so they can adapt their techniques to suit patients? individual health needs. In addition, our offices are located on site at UK Markey Cancer Center, so patients, family members and staff have easy access to our services.

Five people wearing surgical masks, purple scrub tops and black pants in front of a mural depicting trees in springtime.

Six people in scrubs and surgical masks standing next to a table with white bags arranged on top. UK Integrative Medicine and Health is printed across the front of the tablecloth.

Combined, the massage therapy staff at IMH has over 80 years of experience in the field of massage therapy.

Our team

UK HealthCare currently has seven licensed massage therapists on staff.

Jill Cole, MA, LMT, BCTMB, Hospital-based Oncology Massage Therapist

Jill Cole

Jill Cole is a 1998 graduate of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in Boulder, Colorado, and has worked in the field of massage therapy as a clinician, educator, presenter and researcher ever since. Jill has served on professional boards for the American Massage Therapy Association Kentucky Chapter, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Society for Oncology Massage. Additionally, Jill is licensed by the Kentucky Board of Massage Therapy, Board Certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership from Siena Heights University. Jill is currently working toward a PhD in Rehabilitative Science at UK and is the Massage Therapy Coordinator for IMH. 

Kymber Tackett LMT, CMT, Reiki Practitioner 

Kymber Tackett has been in massage practice since 1999 in various capacities of private, salon and chiropractic settings.

Kymber pursued a position in a hospital setting after seeing the impact of massage on family and clients affected by cancer. She has advanced training in oncology, hospital-based, pediatric oncology, prenatal/postnatal and fibromyalgia massages, and also works in the modalities of reiki and guided meditations.

Jeresa Hammonds, LMT, Reiki Practitioner

Jeresa Hammonds is a January 2011 graduate of Spencerian College in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been actively practicing massage therapy since March of that year. Over the past ten years, Jeresa has received advanced training in oncology, hot stone, and tui-na massage therapy, as well as completing a reiki practitioner certification. Jeresa specializes in relaxation and therapeutic massage at IMH, and brings her passion and dedication to providing quality massage therapy services to each patient she sees.

Daniel Napier, LMT, Reiki Practitioner, Hospital-based Oncology Massage Therapist

Daniel Napier brings a unique medical skill set to massage therapy, having been a former Hospital Corpsman for the Navy, Certified Nursing Assistant for hospitals in Eastern and Central Kentucky, and coal miner medical technician. A 2017 graduate from the Lexington Healing Arts Academy in Lexington, Kentucky, Daniel now focuses on clinical applications of massage therapy including oncology massage therapy, reiki, hospital-based massage therapy, and therapeutic massage. Daniel is always quick to provide a smile, comic relief and the occasional magic trick to brighten up anyone’s day.


Prices vary depending on the length of the session. For details, see the price list below. We accept debit and credit cards for payment.

Massage length Charge
30 minutes $45
60 minutes $70
90 minutes $100

Contact us

To schedule a massage appointment, call 859-323-4325 (HEAL).

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