What We Do

Healwell combines education, research, and service to improve quality of life for people affected by acute, chronic and terminal illness.  We touch humans to reduce their pain, ease their anxiety and introduce comfort into the experience of illness.

Service

Healwell provides massage therapy to pediatric and adult oncology patients, pediatric bone marrow transplant patients and others affected by serious and life-limiting conditions in many different clinical settings in and around Washington, DC. We work in direct partnership with the medical teams at these facilities, focusing on decreasing pain, managing symptoms and bringing greater comfort to people living with advanced disease and those at the end of life.

Healwell’s massage therapists deliver over 1000 hours of service annually at:

Education

Education improves quality of life.  We provide education, training and increased awareness about the value of massage therapy for people living with acute, chronic and terminal illness to health professionals, the community and integrative therapy practitioners.

The Hospital Massage Therapy Stewardship Program is the foundation of our education programming. The Stewardship offers a unique opportunity for practicing massage therapists to learn to work directly with patients in the hospital setting on three distinct patient units at Virginia Hospital Center.

The Healwell team also offers a variety of courses in Oncology Massage and other aspects of clinical practice in hospital and classroom settings across the United States.  Healwell provides basic and advanced education in oncology massage with courses designed to serve practitioners at all levels in a variety of settings.  The members of our instructor team all work actively in oncology and clinical massage and work together to create and deliver courses that prepare therapists to support a broad spectrum of medically complex clients and patients.

Healwell Presents provides a variety of lectures and courses in partnership with leaders in the fields of massage therapy, healthcare, compassionate care of the dying and other related areas.  Some are intended for experienced massage therapists.  Some are intended for the medical and clinical community.  Some are intended for the community at large.

Research

In June 2012, Healwell concluded an effort that spanned almost 2 years in a research partnership with an area hospital providing massage therapy to pediatric patients in an oncology massage feasibility study. Children’s National Medical Center engaged Healwell to provide massage therapy to pediatric oncology patients as part of their study, “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream:  a massage therapy trial in adolescents with cancer”, to measure both the feasibility of offering massage to this population and the effect of massage therapy on sleep patterns in this population. Healwell has also has plans to continue its partnerships with this and other hospitals to conduct studies to measure the effect of massage therapy and manual lymphatic drainage on mitigation of side effects related to cancer treatment and other serious illnesses and conditions in both the pediatric and adult populations.

Our goal is to demonstrate the ability of massage therapy to measurably improve outcomes for patients through clinically sound, replicable methods.

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