Mindful Massage For Palliative And End-Of-Life Care

Date: May 21, 2022 - May 22, 2022
Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Felicia Newsome, LMT

Rebecca Smith, LMT, LLCC

Yvette Quintana Pascale, LMT

Lecture / Hands – On

 CE hours TBD,  NCBTMB / NYS-certified
Prerequisite: Introduction to Oncology Massage
Contact michael@catanyc.com to Register


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The first day of this course is designed to prepare massage therapists with specialty training to offer informed and compassionate palliative and end-of-life support for persons with the diagnosis of cancer and their caregivers at any stage. Coordination with multiple partners in the care team is emphasized with development of a care plan.

Lecture and discussion to explore end-of-life and palliative care measures. Demonstration and return demonstration of gentle touch therapies are utilized for support for the client and caregivers. At the end of class, students will be able to verbalize understanding of palliative and end-of-life care [PELC] in the context of the person with symptoms of cancer or the treatment process. Students will:

  • Differentiate between palliative care, end-of-life and hospice
  • Discuss feelings, values, attitudes and expectations on the topic of death and grief
  • Verbalize experiences of loss, suffering, grief and bereavement
  • Explore the variety of perceptions one may have around the grieving process for the client and the family
  • Discuss the definition of palliative care as compared to other care models
  • Describe basic principles regarding a multi-dimensional care model
  • Acknowledge end-of-life signs and symptoms and measures to alleviate suffering
  • Verbalize the concept of promotion of massage therapy, touch therapy or energy work as palliative care and model for the client and caregivers
  • Discuss ways to communicate effectively and with an interdisciplinary team and how to participate in the coordination of care
  • Demonstrate skill in development of a plan for palliative care and end-of-life needs within a variety of settings.

On Day 2, participants will receive a brief review of topics from the Introduction to Oncology Massage course, including hospice, common terminal illnesses, and stages of dying, as well as specific instruction in working with clients at the end of life. Approaches to the work, including philosophy/intention (comfort, not rehabilitation), session length, modified techniques, and contraindications, will all be addressed.

This course is appropriate for licensed massage therapists who are considering entering the field of hospice or hospital-based massage, whether in a paid or a volunteer capacity. It is also designed to help support LMTs in private practice who may encounter serious illness in the course of working with their regular clients.

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of end-of-life care as it pertains to massage therapy
  • Describe the dying process using clinical terminology
  • Demonstrate appropriate modified massage techniques for each stage of dying
  • List contraindications and special concerns in working with the dying.

Felicia Newsome, LMT, is a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in oncology massage since 2005. She began oncology massage training at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Center (2005 – 2011) working in both the outpatient and hospital settings. She then joined the integrative health team at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center (2009-2016) in the chemo-infusion setting, which rounded out her comprehensive clinical training. In 2014, Felicia began creating oncology massage training classes, and in 2015, partnered with the Center for Advancement of Therapeutic Arts. The mission for the oncology training program is straightforward: educate massage therapists about the latest concepts in cancer care, and facilitate the investigative, critical thinking, and communication skills necessary to work safely and effectively with cancer clients. Felicia is Managing Director of the CATA OM Training Program, and Managing Partner at Advanced Massage Specialty Group, Inc.

Rebecca Smith, LMT, LCC, is a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist (LLCC), NCBTMB recognized oncology massage specialist, holding a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and an AS in Occupational Sciences from the Swedish Institute in NYC.

In 2011 Rebecca joined NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center’s Integrative Health team as a Senior Massage Therapist and Senior Lymphatic Therapist, providing Lymph Drainage Therapy and CranioSacral Therapy treatments in the Integrative Health clinic and massage to patients during their chemotherapy infusions. In 2014, she was a collaborator in the initial creation of the Oncology Massage Training program, a founding faculty member after the program partnered with CATA in 2015, and served as the program’s Oncology Studio Director overseeing procedures and protocols. She joined Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Integrative Medicine Service (2016-2020) as a specialty therapist addressing lymphedema, post-mastectomy pain syndrome, axillary web syndrome, radiation fibrosis, and post-mantle field sequelae.

Rebecca is a Managing Partner at Advanced Massage Specialty Group, Inc.  Her private practice, Body Craft Massage Therapy, PLLC, focuses on treating lymphedema and oncology patients during all stages of treatment and recovery.

Yvette Quintana Pascale, LMT is a licensed massage therapist and Reiki Master Teacher Practitioner. She is a graduate of the Swedish Institute in NYC and has been in practice for 21 years. Immediately upon graduating, she received her Perinatal Certification and in 2015 completed certification in massage for the Oncology client.  In the Spring of 2018, Yvette studied with the Liddle Kidz Foundation and became certified in Pediatric Massage Therapy.  Cumulatively, she has over 29 years of experience within the health, fitness, wellness, and medical fields.  In her more recent years, she has found her passion working primarily in palliative and end-of-life care settings.

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