Comfort Touch® - Massage for the Elderly & Ill


12 CE Hours

Course Options:

  • Materials Shipped and Test Online
  • Materials and Test Shipped to You
  • Text Shipped; Videos and Test Online


Developed in 1989 by Mary Kathleen Rose through her work with hospice patients, the modality of Comfort Touch® enables you to bring the benefits of massage to the elderly and individuals suffering from chronic illness or injury. Through this continuing education program you'll learn the principles of Comfort Touch and gain a greater understanding of the physical and emotional needs of elderly, frail, and chronically ill clients. Through this program you will also:

  • Define tactile receptors and the six principles of Comfort Touch.
  • Identify the primary intention of Comfort Touch and how the elderly, frail and or ill clients can benefit from this modality including physical and psychosocial benefits.
  • Discover how Comfort Touch is used as a complement to conventional medicine.
  • List the physical and psychosocial issues and changes in functionality associated with aging and illness.
  • Differentiate the various reasons for grieving and the primary phases in the grieving process.
  • Recognize the roles and responsibilities for Comfort Touch practitioners including scope of practice, hygiene, Universal Precautions, confidentiality and documentation (including client intake).
  • Identify cautions and considerations in the use of Comfort Touch with elderly and chronically ill massage clients.
  • Observe the various client positions when performing Comfort Touch and body patterning for the practitioner.
  • Observe the six guiding principles of Comfort Touch and the acronym SCRIBE (Slow, Comforting, Respectful, Into Center, Broad, Encompassing) and how they relate to specific application technique.
  • Study the basic techniques of Comfort Touch and the importance of the awareness of anatomy, breathing and grounding, as well as sequences of a Comfort Touch session.
  • Learn how to incorporate other modalities into Comfort Touch.
  • Identify ways to adapt to the client's needs based on functionality as well as pain and discomfort.
  • Determine Comfort Touch considerations for special populations including those with psychological issues and trauma, infants and children, pregnant and post-partum clients, medical/surgical patients, and clients with chronic and terminal illnesses.
  • Outline how to communicate clearly and effectively with the client and their healthcare team both verbally and in writing.
  • Review basic forms for documentation including client information and CARE notes.
  • Evaluate the importance of self-care including proper sleep and rest, movement, exercise and nutrition as well as maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Select appropriate settings for performing Comfort Touch and administration of Comfort Touch programs including funding programs, marketing and community outreach.
  • Review Standard and Universal Precautions.
  • Determine cautions and contraindications when integrating aromatherapy with Comfort Touch as well as the sensible use of scents in practice.

The course DVD provides you with visual training in the seated and supine positions as well as how to prepare for an at home visit.

Course Reviews

Ann N. Ashford, LMT

I found this course exceptionally through and practical. The variety of resources and approaches made it suitable for different learning styles. The inclusion of photos, drawings, exercises, and hints for practice were effective in reinforcing the materials, not to mention the DVD and companion website. The test was not very difficult and I could have completed it in a shorter time then the approximately 16 hours I spent on the course, but I was motivated to read and study more carefully.

Leigh Broschat

I've been in practice for 36 years. Since graduating this is in my top two favorite courses. For the next part of this learning, I'd like to take the hands on portion in person within a group class. Thank you for the many hours of meticulous care you put into putting these written materials together. Also, thank you for the fantastic video. All materials are clear and easy to understand.

Kennedy Creech

I was drawn to this course for several reasons - primarily because my mother has early onset Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and has recently survived a stroke. Over the past two years, I've tried giving her massage but, aside from Craniosacral Therapy and Reiki, everything is too painful for her. Also, she doesn't really like the feeling of static holds that the energy therapies tend to prefer and gets uncomfortable after about 10 minutes of these other bodywork sessions. She was the perfect practice partner and I look forward to treating her to many more Comfort Touch sessions as I incorporate it into other aspects of my practice! Secondly, I'm a big chair massage advocate. I know many therapists don't like it but, to me it is the best way to address the masses! I have worked on people that would never book a session in any other setting. I see lots of potential of using methods I've learned in this course on people who are not necessarily Ill or Elderly! It is really beautiful and important work and I see the basic need for comforting, respectful touch in so many populations these days... (I can't wait to try it on a baby soon too!) Finally, because of Hurricane Matthew 2016, the CEU class I had originally signed up for was cancelled and thanks to Integrative Healthcare, I was able to complete my requirements quickly and on-time while studying something that was genuinely helpful and incredibly interesting! Thank you so much Mary Kathleen Rose and Integrative Healthcare!

Gail K. Berton, LMT

Having parents that have passed on makes me wish that I had studied this before they left this earth. So kind and tender and loving. It made me cry in several places and I will treat elderly people with much care and respect because we all get there! Thank you.

Karen Donald, NCTMB

Although this course was very easy, it was so enjoyable. I am inspired to go to Fred Hutcherson Cancer Treatment Center and also to some local retirement homes in my area to see if it is possible to use what I learned. I would enjoy this work very much. Thank you for providing this class. It's possible that it may change my life (and other's) in a very positive and meaningful way.

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  • DVD - 34 minutes
  • Text - 185 pages
  • Multiple-choice test - if you prefer to test online please select the "test online" option
  • Certificate upon completion - if you prefer to print your certificate at home instantly, please select the online option

Display Certificates suitable for framing are available for $10 in addition to the certificate included with your tuition. Click here to order a Display Certificate.


The Institute is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Approved Provider 049478-00.

Credits also accepted by the AMTA, ABMP and NAHA.

For information regarding your specific state massage license requirements and approvals, visit our Massage Therapy Continuing Education Requirements page by clicking here.

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