Course Description

"I work at Alive Hospice as a Volunteer Coordinator and attended the Hands of Hospice course… WOW!!!  I encourage everyone doing the beautiful work of hospice to attend. This two day course is a study in learning about yourself and becoming more present in the moment, not only with patients and/or caregivers but yourself as well.  You will learn how to genuinely listen and offer your gift of being truly present with others and yourself.  Rediscover what you’ve thought you already know."

~ Joy Nielsen, Volunteer Coordinator at Alive Hospice


Providing massage therapy and skilled, compassionate touch to people and their families at the end of life requires much more than a good heart and a pair of willing hands.  The right foundation will enable the massage therapists and volunteers who work in hospice programs to make a measurable, value-added contribution to the care the other members of the care team provide.  Properly trained massage therapists can provide the kind of care that goes far beyond “nice” and “comforting” to a place where the experience of the end of life process becomes one of unparalleled support, presence and touch-oriented compassion.

Healwell is raising the bar for massage therapy’s role in the future of how humans care for humans.  98% of the hospice organizations in America claim to offer massage therapy, but meaningfully-integrated massage therapy provided by uncommonly compassionate and skilled massage therapists is a rare thing in those organizations.  Neither administrators nor massage therapists understand that specialized training in not only hands-on skills, but in true presence, are essential to making a meaningful, safe and effective contribution to care.

This course is available to hospice organizations. If you are interested in offering this training to your staff and volunteers, please email [email protected].



  • 10-15 participants
  • 2 instructors with a combined 35 years of experience in end of life care, contemplative practice, and clinical massage therapy
  • Course provides 16 continuing education credits for massage therapists, but is open and relevant to all hospice employees and volunteers


*The cost of this course is a flat fee. Healwell is responsible for instructors’ travel, lodging and food expenses.

Approved for Continuing Education

Approved by NCBTMB for 16 CEUs for massage therapists.

Approved for 14 contact/clock hours of continuing education credit by the Continuing Education Institute of Illinois in collaboration with the University of Illinois Department of Family Medicine for the following professions:

  • Acupuncturist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Counselor-Professional/Clinical
  • Dentist/Dental Hygienist
  • Dietitian/Nutritionist
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • Nurse (APN, RN, LPN)
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Occupational Therapist/COTA
  • Physical Therapist/PTA
  • Psychologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Social Worker


Instructor & Executive Director Cal Cates

Cal has been teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007. Their experience in clinical practice in hospitals around the US has informed their teaching style greatly. Cal is clear that massage therapy is healthcare and feels a personal commitment to inviting students to consider themselves as integral to a whole person healing process. Their favorite thing about teaching healthcare providers is the ability to blend nerdiness and authenticity to create opportunities to be more effective, more human and more flexible.

Instructor & Operations Director Kerry Jordan

Kerry is a teacher for Healwell and is an essential part of the curriculum development team. She brings 20 years of experience as an instructor and has an extensive background in teaching pathology and physiology and adapting massage therapy for special populations. Before training as a massage therapist, Kerry owned and operated a successful yoga studio in Boston. She has been teaching yoga since 1999. Kerry effortlessly weaves the principles of yoga and meditation into her teaching and service work with yogis, massage therapists and health care providers.

Healwell’s programs are funded in part by generous people like you. Donate today and choose love, compassion, and evidence-based care that acknowledges that humans are important.