Oncology Massage Therapy Level 1

Back massage

This three-day course prepares practicing massage therapists to serve clients with current cancer, cancer treatment, side effects from treatment, and secondary conditions (such as lymphedema).

Trainees will:

  • Acquire contemporary understanding of cancer biology
  • Differentiate between conventional cancer treatments, side effects, and implications for massage
  • Demonstrate use of the provided guidelines for offering safe and effective oncology massage therapy

Course Overview

This course focuses on the foundations of appropriately adjusted massage therapy.  Techniques are described, demonstrated, and practiced. Hands-on opportunities include student trades as well as a clinical experience with volunteer clients.

To obtain a certificate in Oncology Massage Therapy Level I from the UCSF Osher Center, students are required to pass a written examination and a clinical observation by an Instructor or Teaching Assistant.

This course meets the training requirements for 24 CEs for the National Certification Board in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).


  • Current California State or NCBTMB certification 
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • An active massage therapy practice for a minimum of the past 12 months, or the approval of the instructor
  • COVID-19 vaccination

National Certification Board in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Society for Oncology Massage


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