Our belief is simple – Everyone deserves compassionate touch. In fact, skilled, caring touch is a birthright throughout the life cycle, during health and illness. At Tracy Walton & Associates, we prepare massage therapists to serve every person, including those with medical conditions. Our publications, courses, and webinars apply current research and meaningful principles to the diverse needs of each client. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, we provide massage guidelines for the wide range of conditions and settings actually encountered in daily practice. Based in science and complementing medical practice, our unique system integrates massage therapy into professional health care.
Tracy Walton developed guidelines that are already at work in hospitals, massage schools, and clinics across the country. This includes a Pressure Scale she developed, based on the work of Gayle MacDonald and Dawn Nelson. This pressure scale is available as a free download.
Featured in a groundbreaking pathology textbook, Medical Conditions and Massage Therapy, Walton’s system demystifies massage contraindications. Clear, precise guidelines are offered in sufficient detail for immediate use. The book reaches all healthcare practitioners, from the student to the seasoned professional. Our online courses and face-to-face oncology massage courses are also based on our system. We even offer an inspiring massage home instruction program, with dvd and handbook, designed to guide caregivers of people with cancer.
With customized massage care plans for a host of medical conditions, massage therapists work with sensitivity and confidence. Our system answers the barrage of questions in the massage classroom, and the lingering uncertainties among practitioners. For the first time, therapists see contraindications spelled out with her specific pressure scale and “decision tree” roadmaps for each client presentation. There are interview questions for each condition, with precise massage guidelines based on clients’ answers.
Massage therapy has grown rapidly, responding to the yearning for skilled touch during health, disease, injury, and aging. Across this spectrum, people hope for the steady, reassuring hands of therapeutic massage. Our system prepares therapists to meet them.
About Tracy Walton
Tracy Walton is a researcher, writer, award-winning educator, and specialist in massage therapy and cancer care. A dynamic voice for the power of touch, she is the author of the pathology textbook, Medical Conditions and Massage Therapy: A Decision Tree Approach, (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011).
Tracy appears in the film Touch, Caring, and Cancer, an inspiring home instruction program for people with cancer and their care partners. As a researcher, Tracy has worked on clinical trials funded by National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute that involve professional massage and massage by caregivers. Research partners include the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School, Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, and Collinge and Associates. She maintains a bibliography of oncology massage research to serve researchers, educators, massage therapists, clients, concerned friends, and family members.
Known for her leadership and teaching in pathology and oncology massage therapy, Tracy and her staff offer popular continuing education courses for massage therapists. Since 1998, she has developed, taught, and continually updated Oncology Massage Therapy: Caring for Clients with Cancer. Thousands of massage therapists have trained with her and her staff, giving her courses and webinars outstanding reviews. As an educator, she integrates the heart and science of massage therapy. In each class and presentation, Tracy warmly welcomes and connects with health care providers, researchers, educators, and massage therapists from all levels of training.
For over 13 years, Tracy taught physiology and pathology at the Muscular Therapy Institute (now Cortiva Institute – Boston) where she also served as Academic Dean and Chair of the Science Department. In 2003, the American Massage Therapy Association named her the Teacher of the Year.
Tracy is frequently sought after as a speaker at conferences and in hospital and medical school settings. When organizations are developing or expanding their Complementary and Alternative Medical therapies, she often serves as a consultant about current research and working safely. Her signature presentations include:
- “The Power of Skilled Touch”
- “Myths vs. Truths about the Effects of Massage Therapy”
- “Massage and Cancer: Recognizing the Real Issues”
- “5 Essential Interview Questions for Medically Complex Clients.”
Using research, client stories, humor, and beautiful visuals, Tracy inspires her audience with a sense of what is possible.
Since 1990, Tracy has maintained a private practice in massage therapy. Her clients come from all backgrounds. Many are in the diagnostic process, in cancer treatment, experiencing survivorship, or living at the end of life. Tracy understands the challenges that today’s massage therapists face daily. She also understands the deeply motivating desire to contribute to the healing process.
Tracy holds a Master’s degree in biology, with a concentration in cellular physiology and biochemistry from Northeastern University. She received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her massage therapy diploma from the Muscular Therapy Institute.