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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 collaborated 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 is listed as a viable option. This report went into effect in 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. The Heart Touch Project's Pain & Palliative Care Massage Therapy Certificate Curriculum includes classroom and clinical sections. This certification empowers therapists to provide these critical services to individuals in hospital and hospice settings.


Below are the classes that comprise the curriculum. In addition, you can get a detailed picture of each training by clicking below. 

The program's total cost is $1920 (early-bird specials and scholarships are available). The cost of the Specialty Exam is $95.


16 hours

16 hours

16 hours

24 hours

* Portfolio reviews are available to students who've completed comparable training from an S4OM Recognized Education Provider (REP), Healwell, and/or Greet The Day courses.


8 hours

8 hours

Total Classroom Hours:  88 hours

Clinical Hours, IDG Meetings, Grand Rounds, and/or Supervision

56 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


10 hours

28 hours

  Adult Pain & Palliative Patients

  Oncology Patients

  Pediatric Patients

18 hours

Clinical Hand-On Hours Total:    72 hours

Grand Rounds, Case Studies and/or Supervision Hours:    16 hours

Total Clinical Hours:    72 hours

Structured Clinic Opportunities: 

  • USC Wellness Center Oncology Massage Clinic Internship

  • Providence Healthcare Hospice Internship with adults and kids

  • Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA

  • Oncology and P&P Clinics held in Heart Touch Training Room 

Supervised Clinical Hours:

  • Specific documentation required (template provided by Heart Touch)

  • One hour of supervision with a Heart Touch-approved supervisor per every four eligible clinical hours (clinical hours are hands-on and intake time, supervision hours count towards the Grand Rounds/Case Studies/Supervision hours as noted below)

Grand Rounds/Case Studies/Supervision: 

  • Grand rounds may include: pain and palliative care meetings or supervision with an approved massage therapist

  • Case Studies submitted in The Heart Touch Project’s approved format can apply for up to 12 hours, one hour per case study

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

Get more information about Heart Touch's Pain & Palliative Certificate Program

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

We currently offer two trainings online. All other training programs are held at the Heart Touch training space in Santa 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.

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