The Blog to Transform Advanced Care

Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.

“This is really helping. Her heart rate and oxygen are better than they’ve been since I’ve been here today.”  – father of a pediatric patient with congenital cardiac anomalies

Healwell “makes massage therapy matter.” Laying the groundwork for a kind, sustainable healthcare workforce is social justice work. We are improving access to human-centered care, breaking down prejudices in all directions about who “deserves” to be seen and cared for with compassion and creating meaningful career opportunities for massage therapists who want to change the experience of illness.

Our therapists provided more than 5,000 massages to adult and pediatric patients in 2019. We trained more than 100 massage therapists and other healthcare providers in Canada and throughout the US last year. We understand the value of pharmacology and of more invasive interventions while seeking opportunities for collaboration as a powerful, evidence-based, human-centered partner in care and viable alternative when appropriate.

Truly interdisciplinary care is hard to execute, but it is essential to the future of health in our culture. Healwell takes a broad, collaborative view grounded in the perspective that both clinicians working within the system and those receiving healthcare agree that it could all work better. We have seen that a single massage is “nice,” but it doesn’t make a person need less pain medication or find their hospital stay or disease more bearable in a sustainable way.

Healwell is creating highly-skilled, uniquely compassionate, humble and curious massage practitioners. We speak the language of healthcare and operationalize the role of massage therapists in helping patients and hospitals achieve their goals. We don’t want massage to succeed. We want humans to succeed. We learn, collaborate and use our resources to maximum effect without reinventing hard-made wheels. We build relationships and soften barriers so that being sick can be a better experience for real people. Healwell is the only massage therapy-focused organization that brings service, education and research together to drive real results and move the conversation forward.

Our courses address clinical skill gaps as well as foundations of effective care like ethics, active/generous listening, open communication, resiliency and compassion offering CE credit to a wide array of clinicians including nurses, social workers and healthcare administrators.

We have published research with Children’s National Medical Center about massage therapy for pediatric oncology patients. We have presented our research with MedStar Washington Hospital Center palliative care patients about feasibility and opioid use. We are currently conducting a study to measure massage’s effect on “self-efficacy” in patients who have undergone left ventricular assistive device implantation. In late 2019 we concluded a 400-patient palliative care MT dosing study at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the largest study of its kind.

“The alumni services coordinator at the school I attended recommended reaching out to your organization. While I was finishing my LMT training my dad was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. His cancer journey lasted the blink of 9 weeks before he died at home in hospice. Reading your website and blog made me cry. Healwell’s work is beyond inspiring to me!” -new massage therapist in Oregon

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