Cancer, despite affecting one in three people, is still a word that people flinch over.

You would have thought with its prevalence that we would be a little better equipped to deal with it socially, but we aren’t; in fact, we're terrible at it, and it’s this tight lipped attitude that actually creates more stress than necessary, not least of all in the spa industry.

Did you know, for example that if you have had treatment for cancer within the last two years you are not eligible for most massages because they stimulate the lymphatic system? Or that why you are having treatment you can’t use a swimming pool or jacuzzi for fear of getting an infection?


All of this only tends to become evident on your on-arrival at a spa, courtsey of the consultation form. There is a seemingly benign, but ultimately malignant ‘cancer box’ – which, if ticked, will inevitably result in you being refused treatments whether you are booked in or not.

It is this industrial strength fear and a few seriously unhappy customers that provoked the Director at, Abi Wright to pioneer Recovery Retreats – tailored spa packages for anyone who has recently had cancer.

It is completely absurd to think that a time of such stress cancer sufferers can’t be relieved by some decadent time out; and because, as is the power of misconceptions, the most damaging thing is that we are not talking about the options.

So here we go, let’s start the conversation – I will even give you the first words: “Recovery Retreats.”

To find out more about Recovery Retreats go to

Words by Bonnie Friend