Addressing Cancer-Related Pain Through Massage

Addressing Cancer-Related Pain Through Massage


Pain is one of the most common and feared symptoms in patients with cancer. In 2023, nearly two million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer, increasing the likelihood of encountering a patient with this disease in your practice. Are you prepared to help? This course begins by building a foundational knowledge of integrative oncology and its role in cancer care. Learners are then introduced to a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to managing pain in individuals with cancer through massage therapy. This course is designed to equip massage and bodywork professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide effective pain relief and enhance the overall well-being of patients with cancer. Throughout the course, students will learn a research-tested protocol that combines various techniques, including parasympathetic stimulation, myofascial release, and trigger point work. These techniques have been shown to alleviate pain significantly and for a sustained period of time, often six months or more, according to the study. Through this course, you will:

  • Build a comprehensive understanding of integrative modalities that support pain management for patients with cancer
  • Develop practical skills in parasympathetic stimulation, myofascial release, compression, trigger point work, and joint mobilization
  • Learn techniques which have been proven effective in clinical research to enhance patient comfort, reduce pain levels, and improve overall well-being
  • Be able to offer a drug-free and multi-dimensional approach to pain relief

Whether you are a seasoned oncology professional or curious how to work safely with oncology patients, this online program will empower you with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively reduce pain and enhance the quality of life for patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives:

  • Enhance proficiency of evidence-based uses of integrative modalities in cancer care and how to effectively communicate with patients and caregivers
  • Identify safe and supportive integrative treatments for specific cancer-related symptoms and side effects
  • Evaluate the preparations and considerations in treating “total pain” through oncology massage
  • Understand the evidence-based techniques used to treat pain and the proposed mechanisms for massage therapy
  • Apply clinical judgement skills to real-life demonstrations and scenarios of oncology massage

Course Agenda:

Modules in this course include:

  • Fundamentals of Integrative Oncology
  • Protocol for Addressing Cancer-Related Pain Through Massage
  • Video Demonstrations of Techniques
  • Case Studies
  • References and Resources for Oncology Massage
  • Course Exam


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is an Approved Provider of The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). NCBTMB has designated this distance online education course with 8 Continuing Education (CE) credits.=

Certificates with CE credits will be emailed to learners on the first weekday of the month following successful completion of the course.

Target Audience:

This course is intended primarily for massage therapists and bodywork professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, rehab specialists, chiropractors, and other practitioners. Other healthcare professionals are welcome to take this course for the benefit of learning and making informed referrals.

Course Format:

This education program takes approximately eight hours to complete and consists of lessons that are interactive and engaging for the learner. All progress is saved along the way so the learner may return to it at any time by logging into our learning management system.

About Our Online Learning Website:

Our Integrative Medicine Service enlists Bridge, a native cloud learning management system, to offer a unique engagement platform to host our online courses. Bridge’s intuitive design and mobile platforms will allow you to complete your course on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Once your payment of the course fee is processed successfully, you will receive a receipt from MSK sent directly to the email account you entered during registration. Within 48 hours, the Integrative Medicine Education Coordinator will upload your name, email, and course selection into Bridge. Once completed, you will receive an email from Bridge containing a link to access the Bridge app. You will be asked to create a username and password to establish your personal Bridge account. Every time you wish to continue working on the course, you will return to the Bridge app and enter the username and password you created.

For questions and assistance with the registration process, please email [email protected].