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Massage Therapy

Woman receiving massage therapyAs part of the comprehensive UK Integrative Medicine & Health program, UK HealthCare offers massage therapy services to patients, families and staff. It's just one of the many services provided to nurture the mind-body connection and foster a sense of peace, comfort and relaxation. 

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.

    Our team

    UK HealthCare currently has two licensed massage therapists on staff. 

    Marilyn Burke, LMT, APP, CITI, CMT, has practiced since 2003 in both private practice and chiropractic settings. It was a personal experience witnessing her mother and a friend both battle cancer that led Marilyn to a career in which she could help others through massage therapy. She has hospice experience, advanced training in oncology massage and is certified in myoskeletal alignment as well as other complementary therapies. She teaches Reiki, guided meditation and stress management in private practice, as well as an introduction to oncology massage in professional settings.

    Kymber Tackett, LMT, came to the hospital setting after seeing the impact of cancer on family members and former clients. She has been practicing since 1999 in private practice, salon and chiropractic settings. 

  • Cost

    Prices vary depending on the type of massage requested and the length of the session. For details, see the price list below. We accept cash, check or credit card for payment. 

    Massage therapy services Charge
    Massage therapy 30 minutes $40
    Massage therapy 60 minutes $60
    Massage therapy 90 minutes $90
    Therapeutic massage 30 minutes $45
    Therapeutic massage 60 minutes $70
    Therapeutic massage 90 minutes $100
    Prenatal massage 30 minutes $40
    Prenatal massage 60 minutes $60
    Massage therapy-oncology 30 minutes $40
    Massage therapy-oncology 60 minutes $60
    Aromatherapy therapy add-on $10