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Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know
--Daniel Boorstin

Online Courses

This popular series is now available by recording.

Hospital-Based Massage Therapy: Successes, Challenges, and Sound Advice

Do you want to work in a hospital, or start a hospital-based massage program? Do you need to know more about how it works?

Leaders from 5 successful hospital-based massage therapy programs reach out to share stories and words of advice in this 6-part webinar series.

Representing more than 75 years of hospital-based massage history, they offer tips for effective, sustainable massage programs in inpatient and outpatient settings. They'll describe growing massage programs in oncology, orthopedics, palliative care, pediatrics, mother-baby care, ICU, and many other hospital settings.

Tracy Walton, massage therapy educator and author, interviews each speaker about the nuts-and-bolts of hospital massage programs, including startup, staffing, and funding. Hear their honest assessments of challenges, mistakes, and lessons learned along the way, so you can head off problems without reinventing the wheel.

Caring experts share inspiring patient stories and hard data that have helped move massage therapy toward the standard of care in the hospital setting. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to ask your questions and receive guidance for building your own career in hospital based massage.

This series offers valuable information about communicating and collaborating with medical staff, even if you're not drawn to in-hospital work. Their insights and information can help your massage practice be more accessible and successful, integrating massage more fully into your clients' healthcare.

Webinars at a glance

Webinar 1: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Boston Medical Center

Webinar 1: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Boston Medical Center

In an urban hospital serving Boston's lowest-income populations, Paula Gardiner, a family physician, ensures that massage therapy touches as many patients as possible, regardless of ability to pay. At Boston Medical Center, massage therapy is part of a vibrant integrative medicine department that also includes yoga, a community garden, classes in cooking and nutrition, and a food pantry. Paula shares the fine points of how it works: a specific mix of paid staff, volunteers, and an educational internship to provide massage to patients.

Some things you will learn in this webinar:

  • How a hospital can build massage therapy capacity by educating residents, fellows, and attending physicians
  • Why electronic massage charting benefits the patient, hospital staff, and the massage therapy program
  • How massage therapy can ease patients' symptoms and lighten the nursing load
  • How creative funding combinations can sustain massage therapy in multiple areas of the hospital

Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, practices family medicine and serves as the Assistant Director of the Program for Integrative Medicine and Healthcare Disparities at Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Trained as an herbalist, she is also a champion of massage therapy. Dr. Gardiner is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

Webinar 2: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Webinar 2: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center

MD Anderson Cancer Center is like a large city within Houston, Texas, and is at the forefront of cancer medicine. Its integrative medicine center offers education as well as clinical services. Since massage therapy was first offered in 1999, therapists have tirelessly refined and improved the program. Sat Siri Sumler, LMT, describes today's smoothly-running massage therapy service that is an integrated, valued part of patient care. Services include bedside massage therapy, on-site massage, outpatient massage, and massage for caregivers of people with cancer.

Some things you will learn in this webinar:

  • How massage therapists can create strong relationships with other hospital departments
  • How MD Anderson allocates massage services for maximum effectiveness and minimum cost
  • Why hydraulic lift massage tables were selected for safety in the outpatient clinic
  • Special massage considerations for pediatric cancer patients

Sat Siri Sumler, LMT, NCTMB, RYT, joined the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine Center as a massage therapist in 2000. She provides full-time massage therapy and teaches yoga classes to MD Anderson patients. She is also a teacher trainer for the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers' Association.

Webinar 3: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Webinar 3: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, bedside massage therapy care has been the primary focus of the massage program for nearly 30 years. Inpatient massage occurs on almost every unit, including palliative care, hematology/oncology, the birthing pavilion, pediatric ICU, cardiac, orthopedics, and psychiatric services. Outpatient on-site massage is offered for cancer patients and their families. At DHMC, all massage sessions are free. Briane Pinkson, LPN, LMT, shares the growth process: from her initial vision in 1983 to the highly-prized program it has become.

Some things you will learn in this webinar:

  • How 3 years of trying to start a massage program eventually succeeded
  • How a handful of therapists can make up an effective, sustainable, and lasting program
  • Specific recommendations for massage therapists preparing for hospital work
  • The importance of peer supervision and support for hospital based massage therapists

Briane Pinkson, LPN, LMT, is the Healing Arts Practitioner at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where she began providing massage in 1983. On her days off, Briane provides free in-home massage for people with advanced cancer through the nonprofit Hand to Heart project in mid-central Vermont and New Hampshire.

Webinar 4: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Beaumont Health System

Webinar 4: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at Beaumont Health System

Beaumont Health System in Michigan employs 34 massage therapists at its 3 campuses, and 9 of those MTs are in full-time positions with benefits. Karen Armstrong, NCTM, describes how Beaumont has structured the massage program to provide nearly 12,000 massage sessions per year, across inpatient and outpatient settings. Physicians and nurses provide enthusiastic referrals. Massage therapy is highly visible across the hospital, available in most departments, and warmly received by patients.

Some things you will learn in this webinar:

  • How Beaumont grew its massage program from a single idea to a thriving service in 7 years
  • How massage therapists earn the respect of physicians and nurses across the hospital
  • Why the hospital established "blanket orders" for in- and outpatient massage therapy
  • How a massage therapist helped design the hospital's employee health benefits to include coverage for complementary therapies

Karen Armstrong, NCTM, is the Manager of Clinical Massage and the Director of the Oncology/Hospital Massage School at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Michigan. Karen also serves as the Chair of the Michigan Board of Massage Therapy and is a Director of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards.

Webinar 5: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at California Pacific Medical Center

Webinar 5: Hospital-Based Massage Therapy at California Pacific Medical Center

Imagine a massage therapist, holistic nurse, and chaplain all gathered in the room of a patient who is about to be discharged after a hip replacement. Carolyn Tague, LMT, describes this integrative "circle of care" that prepares the patient with imagery, massage, shared intention, and encouragement for facing the stairway up to her home. This co-visit model was developed at the award-winning Institute for Health and Healing, based at the California Pacific Medical Center, where massage has been offered since 1987.

Some things you will learn in this webinar:

  • Benefits of a team approach in integrative medicine: improved patient outcomes and staff cohesiveness
  • How massage therapists can learn to broaden the base of support for hospital-based massage
  • The "80%/20% rule for hospital massage success," and how to prepare the 20%
  • How a combination of philanthropy, service revenue, and tuition from educational programs can fund hospital- based massage

Carolyn Tague, MA, CMT, is the Massage Therapy Supervisor and Clinical Faculty at the Institute for Health and Healing at California Pacific Medical Center, Sutter Health, in San Francisco. She also serves on the Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Task Force, a working group of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), and provides consulting on hospital-based massage.

Webinar 6: What Makes Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Work? A Panel Discussion

Webinar 6: What Makes Hospital-Based Massage Therapy Work? A Panel Discussion

What are the problems facing hospital-based massage therapy? What are the solutions? What else is needed?

This final webinar of the series brings speakers together to answer your questions, trade ideas, and discuss the future of in-hospital massage. Leaders in hospital-based massage therapy highlight common approaches and clear differences in their programs. They offer essential advice to massage therapists who wish to work in the hospital. Ask them questions. Hear their collective wisdom. Don't miss this important conversation about hospital-based massage therapy.

In this webinar, leaders in hospital-based massage therapy answer the following questions:

  • What does it take to be a hospital-based massage therapist?
  • What advice can you give to a massage therapist wanting to enter this work?
  • How can a hospital-based massage therapist avoid fatigue and burnout?
  • Where are resources that support hospital-based massage therapy?

Massage in Cancer Care: a 6-part webinar series

Massage therapy is a growing part of cancer care, and skilled touch is being welcomed into hospitals, clinics, and the daily lives of people with cancer.  In this 6-part webinar series, share the excitement about the growing specialty of oncology massage therapy, and learn about some important principles and practices.  

Tracy Walton provides an overview of the ways massage could benefit people with cancer, and provides an update of research on this topic.  You will clear up some sticking points, take a fresh look at the old myth that massage could spread cancer, and learn ways to re-educate and reassure people about this common concern.  Tracy highlights some of the safety essentials followed in oncology massage, and the standards of practice in the field.  She introduces resources and recommendations for further training, research, and information.  At the end of each presentation, she will answer questions submitted live by webinar participants. 

Webinars in this series:

1. Cancer, Massage, and Metastasis
2. Cancer, Massage, and Symptom Relief
3. Cancer, Massage, and Safety Essentials
4. Cancer, Massage, and Unstable Tissues
5. Cancer, Massage, and the Vital Organ Principles
6. Cancer, Massage, and Detoxification


More about Cancer Care and Massage: a 6-part webinar series

Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the two most common cancers in women and men, respectively. In search of support and symptom relief, patients with breast or prostate cancer find their way to massage therapy in spas, franchises, and medical settings. In this lively, interactive webinar series, Tracy Walton highlights key massage contraindications for these conditions. If you wonder “What questions do I ask a client with prostate cancer?” or “How and why should I modify my massage for certain breast cancer treatments? or “How do I explain these modifications to my client?” then this is the right series for you!
Tracy answers these questions with clear guidelines, case studies, and resources for further reading and study in oncology massage. She introduces principles and practices of massage for people with cancer, and applies them to specific client scenarios. She even explores the role of massage therapists in teaching caregivers to massage their loved ones.  Drawing on 22 years of practice and a wealth of client experience, she offers some basic steps to safe, effective massage practice for these common conditions. Tracy’s well-known clarity and compassion come through in each webinar.

Webinars in this series:

1.  Foundations of Massage Therapy for Breast and Prostate Cancer
2.  Hidden Contraindications: Lymphedema and Lymphedema Risk
3.  Breast Cancer and Massage Therapy
4.  How Breast Cancer Treatment Affects Massage Therapy
5.  Prostate Cancer, Treatment, and Massage Therapy
6.  Teaching Massage to Caregivers: the “Touch, Caring, and Cancer” Home Instruction Program

Note: This webinar series reinforces and expands upon some important concepts from the popular Massage in Cancer Care series. This series goes beyond general issues to focus on the two most common cancer types—breast and prostate—with vital information for the massage therapist.  Each webinar series stands alone, and the first cancer series is not required for participation in this series.


Blood Clots, Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease:
Common Cardiovascular Conditions and Massage
(A 6-Part Webinar Series)

Millions of people are diagnosed with hypertension, heart disease, and blood clots each year, and many of them seek support and stress relief through massage therapy.  No matter where you practice— a spa, franchise, private practice, or medical facility — you are likely to encounter these cardiovascular conditions.  Massage literature gives general contraindications to follow, but gaps in massage and bodywork training may have left you wondering what to ask your clients about these conditions, and how to modify your massage in each case.

In this webinar series, Tracy Walton clearly describes contraindications and ways to modify massage for clients with cardiovascular disease.  She presents simple principles, specific interview questions, and concrete massage guidelines so that you can work more confidently and safely.  Learn some of the most interesting and even lifesaving information on massage for common cardiovascular conditions.  The more you know, the better prepared you will be to provide compassionate and effective care.  Take advantage of this groundbreaking online series to broaden your client base and enhance your practice.

Webinars in this series:

1.  Blood Clot Symptoms and Massage Therapy
2.  Blood Clot Risk and Massage Therapy
3.  Hypertension, Hypotension, and Massage Therapy
4.  Angina, Heart Attack, and Massage Therapy
5.  Congestive Heart Failure and Massage Therapy
6.  Cardiovascular Condition Case Studies

Webinars with Tracy Walton, available through the Benjamin Institute

Tracy Walton’s popular webinars offer in-depth, rich, information that is immediately usable in your massage therapy practice. She covers a variety of topics including general cancer care, massage and cancer spread, massage research, breast and prostate cancer, lymphedema, blood clots, hypertension, and heart disease.

Webinars are a wonderful way to learn, earn CE hours, enhance your clinical work, and deepen your expertise.
You can register for webinars or learn more at the Benjamin Institute.

Choose from Tracy's four webinar series:

Massage in Cancer Care
More about Cancer Care and Massage
Blood Clots, Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease: Common Cardiovascular Conditions and Massage
Hospital-Based Massage Therapy: Successes, Challenges, and Sound Advice

What is a Webinar?
The word "webinar" is short for web-based seminar. It is a presentation that happens right on your home/office computer.

If you can't watch live, that's ok, too! Once you've registered with the Benjamin Institute, you'll automatically receive a recording of the webinar 24 hours after it airs, or immediately if it's available on demand. You'll have access to the recording for 30 days, so you can watch it for the first time at your leisure and review the recording as many times as you'd like.

All of the Benjamin Institute’s webinars are available as recordings to view on your computer. The recordings are worth the same number of CE hours as the live presentations.

Technical questions?
Please contact the Benjamin Institute with any technical or administrative questions regarding Tracy’s webinars.

Course ApprovalsTracy Walton & Associates is a NCBTMB Approved Provider

Tracy Walton & Associates is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as an approved provider, #283404-00.

Tracy Walton & Associates is approved by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, provider # 50-13512.

Selected training is recognized by the Society for Oncology Massage.