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Cancer and Massage

By Tracy Walton, LMT, MS

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Tracy Walton, LMT, MS, is a researcher, writer, award-winning educator, and specialist in massage and cancer care. She is a dynamic voice for the power of touch, and is the author of a new textbook, Medical Conditions and Massage Therapy: A Decision Tree Approach (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011). Tracy's column on oncology massage appears regularly in Massage Today.

As a researcher, Tracy has worked on NIH (National Cancer Institute)-funded clinical trials involving professional massage and massage by caregivers. Research partners include the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School, Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, and Collinge and Associates. She maintains a bibliography of oncology massage research on her website, www.tracywalton.com.

Tracy appears in the film, "Touch, Caring, and Cancer," massage instruction for caregivers and partners. She designed curriculum for this inspiring, innovative program, and worked on a large, NIH-funded clinical trial testing the safety and feasibility of its use in home instruction. She is a frequent contributor to massage therapy publications.

Best known for her leadership and teaching in oncology massage therapy, Tracy also taught physiology and pathology at the Muscular Therapy Institute (now Cortiva Institute-Boston) for 13 years. There, she chaired the science department and served as Academic Dean. As an educator, she integrates the art, heart, and science of massage therapy. In her presentations, Tracy warmly welcomes and reaches health care consumers, researchers, health care providers, and massage therapists from all levels of training. In 2003, the AMTA named her the Teacher of the Year.

Tracy holds a master's degree in biological sciences, with a concentration in biochemistry and cellular physiology. She received her diploma in therapeutic massage from the Muscular Therapy Institute.

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