Are you losing heart because your oncology massage practice is faltering, or hasn’t quite gotten off the ground?
A small group, personal mentorship program with Tracy Walton, to help you build a strong practice.
Oncology massage therapy is a pathway of deep service and rewarding work.
For many of you, this pathway of service drew you to massage therapy in the first place. It called directly to your heart. It has made your heart sing, serving with your hands.
…The path can also be lonely.
- Having a tough time finding clients, or doing oncology massage in small bits and pieces
- Feeling isolated in your work
- Baffling clinical questions, not knowing where to find the answers
- Being overwhelmed by client situations, strong feelings, or burnout
- Difficulty finding employment
- Being exhausted by resistance in your workplace
You might feel called to do oncology massage, but you need more help putting it into practice.
We’ve put together a program of support so you don’t have to do it alone.
Oncology Massage Therapy Advanced Mentorship
40.0 CE Hours, NCBTMB (and NY State) Approved
Enrollment limited to 14
A live, interactive small-group course and one-on-one support with me, Tracy Walton. Like a conference call, but with visuals — client cases and support tools piped into your personal computer. We’ll have instruction through on-screen seminars, and engaging activities to move your practice along. Through assignments and a one-on-one consultation, you’ll receive my individual support. No travel is involved.
This course gives you individualized support in a small group setting, and sets the foundation for the next steps in your work.
This class stands far above any other education I have had. There is a love, passion, caring and dedication that shines through the curriculum, teaching and support!” — Norma K., Oak Ridge, TN
This course has provided me with deeper confidence and understanding in my established private practice and in the oncology massage practice I am developing at a local cancer center. As a result of this course I have developed strengthened confidence in speaking to groups, colleagues, patients, families, etc, about this important work.” — Joyce Morrissey, Yellow Springs, OH
Click here for the basics
Oncology Massage Therapy Advanced Mentorship Program 40 CE Hours, NCBTMB Approved COURSE DESCRIPTIONDemand for oncology massage therapy is growing, as consumers and cancer care professionals look for new ways of support for the cancer journey. It's an exciting time, and a promising future for oncology massage therapists. To meet the growing demand, good hands-on skills are important. Yet three other elements, or "pillars" are also essential to a successful oncology massage practice: clinical reasoning, marketing and outreach, and emotional resilience are necessary for a strong practice. In this mentorship course, massage therapists receive one-on-one and group support to strengthen the three pillars. Together, we identify the people you are ideally suited to serve, and support you in serving them. We work through common and complex oncology case scenarios so you feel confident and prepared in your clinical work. Ready-made marketing tools are offered for you to connect more easily with clients who need your care. Finally, we'll see how emotional preparedness helps build a satisfying and enduring practice. Prerequisite This course is for massage therapists who have completed a foundational oncology massage course with Tracy Walton & Associates or with another instructor recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage. Massage therapists with other background or experience may also be eligible; contact us to see if it's a good fit for you. Details (Except for Group Tech Check / Orientation, all times 8:00 - 10:00 pm Eastern US time) (GMT – 5) This course is offered over a 10-12 week period in the spring and fall. Times: Tuesdays, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Eastern US Time (GMT -5) except Group Tech Check / Orientation 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm EST Tuition: $895 if registered by the early registration deadline; $995 thereafter. Registration and Payment Options Tuition is payable online by credit card or through PayPal. Enrollment limited to 14. Early registration is recommended. Visit our Training Schedule page to register. Withdrawal Policy: Please note that if you withdraw from the course by 14 days before the start date of the course, you will be refunded your tuition, less a $50 processing fee. If you withdraw after that date, there is no refund of tuition.
Read on, for the details.
Three pillars of oncology massage success.
Besides hands-on skills, there are three pillars of oncology massage success:
- Clinical decision-making. Feeling confident to help your clients relax, and not have your nose stuck in protocols while you’re working.
- Marketing and outreach. Oncology massage can be a tender area, so you want to be effective, respectful, and sensitive in how you reach people.
- Emotional resilience. Since we face big issues like pain and mortality, you need a way to care for your own emotional health to ensure a long, healthy career.
A weakness in just ONE of these pillars is enough to compromise an oncology massage practice. Even if you feel okay about your foundations, taking them from average to strong can make a huge difference in your work.
How can this program help you?
- Completed decision trees prepare you for a wide range of clients, and for your chosen target population.
- Specific case study exercises, drawn from years of client care, strengthen your clinical skills.
- Simple marketing tools, with information and beautiful visuals, connect you with clients who need your help.
- Sample massage care plan and forms help you partner with physicians and nurses to promote your practice.
- Promising (yet humble and accurate) oncology massage research helps build your case for massage therapy without having to be a research expert.
- Thoughtful one-on-one attention gives you support for your career path, wherever it needs it.
- Seven questions, along with a reverent space for inner reflection, guide you forward with a clear heart.
I feel more confident in connecting with medical professionals.” — Janet Opdenhoff, Pineville, LA
Who is this Course for?
This course is for you if…
- You have your heart set on serving this population, and you wish to make a livelihood of it. You long to move your work forward with more confidence.
- You have taken a foundational course in oncology massage: one of our 3- or 4-day courses over the last 13 years, or a course with any instructor recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage. (You do not have to have mastered the material, or be practiced at oncology massage. You just need a foundational course behind you.)
- You need help in any of the following areas:
- Clinical skills – Planning safe, effective sessions for common or complex scenarios
- Marketing tools – Using your own style of outreach to build your practice
- Emotional preparedness – Dealing with issues of overwhelm, burnout, or compassion fatigue
- You’d like individual attention and support for your oncology massage work.
- You are interested in pursuing or expanding oncology massage in one or more of the following settings: private practice, hospice, spa or franchise, hospital setting, community service/volunteer setting.
- You’re not necessarily struggling, but you’d like to strengthen or expand your oncology massage practice.
I so appreciate all the things I accomplished during this course that I would still be fretting over now.” — Alicia Lingenfelter, Houston, TX
Most of our work will be targeted at oncology massage in private practice, because that’s when massage therapists are most on their own. However, most of the principles, tools, and skills can be applied or adapted to other settings. Clinical thinking, outreach and marketing, the emotional landscape, all have an influence on our work, regardless of where we work.
You do not have to be a technology whiz, or have experience with webinars or social media. We will help you with that. Even the “tech-worried” have found it easy to use our online classroom forum.
This was my first webinar and I loved this method.” — Jennifer Rottier
Why am I offering this course? Why now?
For 30 years, I’ve been in love with massage therapy. I fell for it when I experienced, for myself, the power of skilled, corrective touch and the therapeutic relationship. Then clients with cancer started coming to me, and oncology massage was a natural place to bring my hands and my own longing to serve. Twenty years ago, I began to teach it to others.
Along the way, I’ve seen a lot of oncology massage in action, and clients have shared some inspiring effects: A soft landing after hard medical treatment. Improvements in sleep and well-being. An easier road through side effects and stress. It’s all pretty compelling.
Honestly? To me, YOU are also compelling.
Oncology massage therapists move me as much as the clients do. From observing thousands of massage therapists, I’ve seen the work clearly as the ‘love made visible’ that Kahlil Gibran describes. I will do anything I can to serve that work, and I love to see people really fly with it. This advanced mentorship course is another way I can help therapists reach mastery, where hearts, hands, and minds are all lined up to care for people who can really use it.
You finished a foundational oncology massage course with a pile of information and a clinic experience, and some of you (maybe you?) told us it was the best CE experience you’d ever had. You told us you were inspired and excited, maybe a bit nervous, but eager to serve. Since then, many of you have called for more individual instruction: more guidance, more information, more support. I created this mentorship course to answer your call.
Why online? Why this format?
Because it’s magical. I’ve seen people make amazing progress in the virtual classroom. Even without tables and lotion, the learning goes deep. And even though online connections are strange and new, they can be thrilling: We are truly connected, in shared purpose, across many time zones and communities.
I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other participants. Everyone had their own unique skill sets and talents and opinions.” — Destiny Lehew, Austin, TX
The great part was that every Tuesday for a few weeks I had a special place to go where I could fellowship with a great group of people.” — Connie Richardson, Riverdale, GA
Because it’s fun. I love working with people in small groups, with another chance to support MTs in individualized ways. We get to roll up our sleeves together and dig deeply into an issue and see it through, all the way to its solution.
Because it’s convenient. You can do this without the burden of travel, lost client hours, arranging childcare/eldercare/petcare, or time away from home. Instead, we’ll join voices, screens, and experiences online and on the phone. We’ll hear your voice, but there’s no video of you, so I’ll assume you’re learning in your jammies or sweatpants, in comfortable seating, with your own favorite mug of whatever.
Here’s what we cover, session by session. Classes are held 8:00-10:00 pm US Eastern time (GMT – 5)
Class 0. Group Tech Check / Orientation
We’ll have about a one hour window for you to log in and practice with the video conferencing before we start the course. If it all works, you may only be on for 30-45 minutes. Otherwise, I’ll have time to walk you through anything you’re struggling with to make the technology work.
Class 1. Getting to work — Common Protocols for Common Scenarios
1-2-3-GO! We begin with weaving ourselves together so we can become a strong learning community, helping each other go deeper and learn more than any one might on his or her own. Then a quick review of the non-circulatory massage and low-impact sessions that are used with a large number of oncology clients.
Because so many clients seek massage during or after breast cancer treatment, we’ll map out massage guidelines for a typical breast cancer presentation, including surgery for reconstruction. With an in-depth understanding of why and how to modify massage, and how to clearly explain it to your clients, you can feel confident and solid in your work.
Class 2. Creating a Massage Care Plan — Being Ready to Serve
Clean, clear massage planning comes with practice, and in this session we’ll make it a well-oiled process. We’ll map out a second common oncology client scenario, then take it a giant step further by creating a massage care plan for the client’s physician.
You’ll develop a Decision Tree and sample care plan for the population you most want to serve, easing the paperwork shuffle so you can be fully present with each client. You’ll receive time-saving principles and great ideas for shortening the “Talk to Table” time, even for conditions you’ve never heard of. We identify that tender balance in intake time and hands-on time, so clients feel seen and served in all parts of the session.
Class 3. Oncology Massage Marketing — Solving Problems and Spreading the Word
From classes 1 and 2, you’re now armed with a clear plan for helping the clients you wish to serve, and in this class we’ll begin to connect with them. We’ll look closely at how you help people, and whose problems you are solving. This is a surprisingly powerful and tender exploration. The answers might seem obvious, but are probably even more far-reaching than you think.
With these answers in place, marketing becomes authentic and earnest rather than slick or cheesy. Your marketing becomes a plan to meet the people you are meant to serve. We’ll show how your oncology massage care plans can cultivate supporters among nurses, physicians, and other healthcare providers. We’ll also give you good “elevator speech” answers to the three most frequently asked questions about oncology massage.
Class 4. Oncology Massage Marketing — Using Research and Reaching Out
You don’t have to be a research expert to offer solid oncology massage benefits, but it’s good to feel prepared when people ask for evidence. We’ll summarize the current oncology massage evidence in a clear, easy-to-use format. We’ll look at some of the best research in this area, and note some of the shortcomings, so you can make clear, simple, and accurate statements using research.
You’ll receive a complete, customizable oncology massage PowerPoint presentation and handout to use if you’re the public-speaking-in-service type. If you’re not, we’ll explore plenty of other, quieter ways to reach out to your population. Either way, marketing can be a fun, natural extension of your hands-on work.
Class 5. Online Marketing (with Jennifer Dyer Durkin)
In this session, Jenn will review the elements of an online marketing plan, and show how even small additions or changes to your online oncology massage presence can build solid support for your work. She’ll use examples from general massage therapy and oncology massage practices to demonstrate effective, manageable, and inexpensive online marketing.
If you have any mystery or fear about social media, email lists, or blogging, Jenn will help you remove it. She’ll help you determine which combination of online tools are best for you. (Spoiler- you don’t have to use them all!) A strong online presence will allow you to turn your advocates into ambassadors, helping you connect with exactly the referral partners and clients you wish to serve.
My favorite class was the marketing class. They were all great, but marketing has always been a daunting task for me, and this made it so much easier.” — Nathan Walker, Worcester, MA
Class 6 – Individual Feedback on Online Marketing (with Jennifer Dyer Durkin)
In this session, you can ask our online marketing expert to look over your oncology massage therapy online presence to-date and give valuable feedback on each of the elements of online marketing. She’ll provide support, wisdom, and encouragement, whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already a pro. She’ll answer your questions and provide technical tips and tricks to make online marketing effective and efficient. You can offer your work up for feedback, or just sit in and listen to others’ reviews. Everyone who has attended this session has expressed gratitude for the individual attention and our good-humored approach.
Class 7. Asking Questions and Getting Help — Keeping a Clear Heart in Your Work
I’ve learned that to do oncology massage therapy, I need all the help I can get. Along my own path, I’ve learned what good help looks like, why we need it, and how to find it. In this class I will share some of these findings, and invite others to do the same.
We’ll explore “The Seven Questions,” and a close examination of common patterns in our work that can either help or hinder our connections with clients. You might learn how your beliefs about health and illness can separate you from the very people you want to serve. Together we’ll look at the way we each handle loss, which is inevitable in oncology massage. We’ll set the tone for our own growth, a clear heart, and enjoyment of our work.
Class 8. Answering the Call and Staying Strong — Emotional Resilience for the Years Ahead
Sobering statistics on MT longevity suggest that physical and emotional burnout can shorten our careers. The intensity and intimacy in oncology massage, experiences that call us to this work in the first place, can also leave us vulnerable to exhaustion and overwhelm. At the same time, the need for our services continues to grow, so staying in for the long haul can make for a rich and rewarding career.
In this final class, we’ll go beyond the usual buzzwords and calls for self-care, since most of us have already been thoroughly nagged on that point. Instead, we’ll reach deeper, and share what it takes to answer the calling inside. We’ll learn why attention to the present can cultivate a healthy future. You’ll lay out a plan for your path, and together we will wrap-up, say farewell, and plan for you to stay connected with each other in the future.
It already has helped me in weekly work with oncology clients/caregivers…working with some end-of-life patients now (was a big fear prior to the class) and I have learned the gift of presence.
Some of the best work I’ve done in my career! Empathy, self-care (staying grounded especially), coming from love instead of fear…these have been muscles I have developed since the class.” — Liz Murray, Littleton, MA
You’ll come out of this course with:
|An outreach plan for your target client population. Some therapists choose to focus their work on a specific population, such as people with leukemia, women with breast cancer, or people living at end of life. Other therapists see a broad range of oncology clients. No matter which you choose, you’ll practice outreach steps during the course, with our support. You’ll leave the course with time-tested strategies, a plan for finding clients, and ways to introduce them to your work.|
|Guidelines and Decision Trees practice for common presentations. With my help, you’ll assemble the information you need to work safely and effectively with common presentations. Whether this information is a refresher, or we’re filling in missing pieces, you’ll be able to apply the tools with confidence in your oncology massage therapy work.|
|Slides and a handout to use in presentations or in-services on oncology massage. To save you time and effort, you’ll receive slides and an outline promoting your work. You’ll have a little research data, beautiful visuals, and some good reasons for people to schedule with you. It’s all ready to customize and go, so you won’t have to wonder where to start.|
|A Network of MTs to Support Your Journey. Group support for your own unique path in oncology massage. A safe space to raise emotional and spiritual challenges in your work. Encouragement for your outreach efforts. And a pool of oncology MTs for ongoing support after the end of the course, for the months and years ahead.|
|Written protocols for the most common oncology scenario. Since breast cancer is so common, guidelines for each protocol can be an enormous support for oncology massage therapists. You’ll receive a written summary of the massage modifications in one place, so you can stop shuffling through papers and focus on your client.|
|A Certificate of Completion for 40 CE hours. Approved by NCBTMB and certain states. For a list of approvals, click here. This includes 16.0 in-class CE hours, a 45-minute one-on-one session with Tracy, and a minimum of 24.0 hours of out-of-class assignments.|
How it Works
Eight 2-hour small-group seminars. We meet weekly by web conference, with full audio. You’ll interact out loud, speak, hear my voice and your classmates’ voices in real time, and ask and answer questions. You’ll see my computer screen on your computer, and we’ll work through problems through discussion and on the screen.
Recordings of sessions. Each seminar is recorded for your review and permanent download. If you miss a class, you’ll have access to the recording the next day.
Partner exercises between classes. Each week, you’ll be assigned a different classmate to work through an assignment in a 1-hour session by phone. You’ll have clear guidelines for these sessions, and you will likely find that in partnership, big insights and real breakthroughs can occur.
Check-in or assignment at each class. You’ll turn it in by email, and I’ll read each assignment closely. I’ll identify common concerns and questions, and give feedback and support to the group.
An individual consultation session with me. In this one-on-one session, you and I have time to go deep into some part of your practice needing individual attention. I’ll give you support and care for the next steps forward. We’ll schedule this 45-minute session outside of class hours, during the last half of the program period at your convenience.
I came away with a clearer focus on the direction of my business. She gave me great ideas to improve and become confident in my skills without undercutting my value or abilities.” — Norma K., Oak Ridge, TN
Enrollment limited to 14. Early registration is recommended. Visit our Training Schedule page to register.
What you’ll need
- Access to a PC running Windows 2003 or later, or a Mac running OS X 10.6 or later
- A solid internet connection (DSL or better)
- The latest version of your web browser updated
- A working email address and printer
- A USB headset ($25-$45 at Staples. Make sure it has a mute button so you can chew while we talk!)
- A Facebook account (If you’re not on Facebook, and don’t want to live there permanently, we’ll help you set up a secret account just for this course)
This course is for massage therapists who have completed a foundational oncology massage course with Tracy Walton & Associates or with another instructor recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage. Massage therapists with other background or experience may also be eligible; contact us to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Before you register
This mentorship program is designed to support you in your next steps in oncology massage. Please read this page closely before you enroll, and ask us any questions you need to ask.
After you enroll. By enrolling in this course, you commit to:
- Attending all 8 class sessions (You can miss up to 2 out of the 8 live classes, but you must watch the full recordings of the missed classes)
- Putting in significant effort (typically several hours per week, and sometimes much more than that, depending on the topic) outside of class
- Participating in 6 out of 7 partner exercises
- Completing all of the written assignments
- Regularly checking (at least once per day) and commenting on the shared community online forum used by the group
Once registered for the course, if you withdraw by 14 days prior to the start of the course, you will receive a refund of tuition paid, minus a $50 administrative fee. After that date, there is no refund of tuition.
After the program begins, if you are concerned that it is not meeting your needs, please reach out and tell me what is happening. Contact me as early as you can. We often need your feedback along the way, so that you can learn what you need to learn. The program can help, but only if you attend, put in the effort, and implement the tools we provide you.
Advanced Mentorship at a Glance
|Eight 2-hour classes, usually a weeknight, 8:00-10:00 PM Eastern US time (*Hot beverage not included)|
|One group tech check / orientation session, where we walk through signing you onto the webinar, and get you connected|
|Individual feedback and support for your online business presence, with Jennifer Dyer Durkin|
|Recordings of all classes on video, available next day|
|One 45-minute individual coaching session with Tracy Walton|
|Online forum for you and classmates, for giving/receiving group support (New to this? We provide one-on-one help with joining the forum)|
|Partner exercises with a classmate by phone each week|
|Check-ins before every class session|
|An outreach plan for your chosen oncology population|
|Decision Trees for common cancer presentations|
|Customizable correspondence with physicians|
|Pre-made marketing/outreach materials including PowerPoint presentation and handout|
|Oncology massage research summary/fact sheet, with supporting references|
|40.0 CE hours, approved by NCBTMB and some states. For a list of approvals, click here.|
I was a little apprehensive to enroll at first because of the cost of the course. I’m so glad I did. What I take away from this course is invaluable.” — Wanda Heath, Madison, IN
Hugely valuable and was worth every penny and then some!” — Liz Murray, Littleton, MA
Registration and Payment Options
Tuition is payable online by credit card or through PayPal. Enrollment limited to 14. Early registration is recommended. Visit our Training Schedule page for cost information and to register.
Have more questions about this program? Curious about whether it’s a good fit for you? Send us your questions and thoughts.
This program is also approved in some states. Click here for a list of state approvals.