The Heart Touch Project

Pain and Palliative Specialty Certification Program

Through our 15 year partnership with local hospitals in the Southern California area, it became clear to us that there was a need for non-pharmacological treatment strategies for those dealing with chronic pain. 


Recognizing the importance of training massage therapists in pain and palliative care, Heart Touch has been collaborating with Pain and Palliative health care professionals since 2015 and designed one of the most comprehensive Pain and Palliative Care programs for the Massage Therapy field.

In August of 2017, the Joint Commission published the R3 (Requirement, Rationale, Reference) Report detailing the need for hospitals to provide nonpharmacologic pain treatment modalities. Massage therapy being listed as a viable option.  This report will went into effect January 2018.


At The Heart Touch Project, we are committed to providing the highest quality education to massage therapists seeking to be leaders in the field of integrative palliative care. Our Pain & Palliative Care Massage Therapy Certificate Curriculum includes classroom and clinical sections. With this certification, therapists are empowered to provide these critical services to individuals in hospital and hospice settings.


Below are the classes that comprise the curriculum. You can get detailed picture of each training by clicking below. 

The total cost of the program is $2240 (early-bird specials are available). The cost of the Specialty Exam is $95.

16 hours

16 hours

16 hours

24 hours

Clinical Internship, Pain and Palliative Meetings and Grand Rounds 

40 clinical hours include thorough clinical intake and hands-on time. Intake may account for up to 40% of clinical hours (example: one clinical hour may include a 20-minute intake and 30-minute session). Clinical hours must include minimum 30% adult clients, 20% patients with oncology history and 10% pediatric clients. Oncology hours may be adult or pediatric.

We have structured internship opportunities at Oncology Wellness Centers, hospitals, and hospices. We also hold Oncology and P&P clinics in the Heart Touch Training room.

The remaining 16 hours are fulfilled by a combination of Pain and Palliative meetings, case studies presented in Grand Rounds, and supervision hours.

If you're an out-of-state participant wondering how you can complete your clinical hours, please email

56 hours

Total 160 hours

Upon completion of this training program, you will receive a certificate of completion from The Heart Touch Project, as well as become eligible to sit for the NCBTMB Specialty Exam in Pain and Palliative Care. Credentials will be provided by NCBTMB—including a Letter of Verification detailing your education and training—to present to employers and key stakeholders.

For more information on the NCBTMB Specialty Exam in Pain and Palliative Care, please visit

Get  more information about our Pain and Palliative Program

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1.) Do you offer any of your classes online? 

No, currently all of our training programs are held at the Heart Touch training space in Santa Monica Monica. 3400 Airport Ave Suite 42, Santa Monica 90405 


2.) Where can I stay if I travel to California?

Heart Touch is part of the Integrative Medicine Program at UCLA and can help out of state participates arrange accommodations at the Tiverton House on UCLA's campus. The rates are extremely reasonable if you share the rooms. Tiverton House has seasonal availability, so arrangements need to be made in advance.

3.) Can I pay for the training on a per-class basis? 

Yes, all classes are paid for on training by training basis. We do not take a full payment up front at this time.

4.) Are there any classes I can get credit for?

Yes, if you have taken an inpatient and outpatient Oncology massage training from an S4OM approved program.

5.) Can I complete my internship out of state? 

Yes, We would just need to make sure you are working in a Pain and Palliative setting and supervised by a Medical Professional in the field of Pain and Palliative Care.