Preferred Practitioner Grant Program

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This program is designed to support special oncology projects of S4OM & S4OE Preferred Practitioners. Besides supporting personal aspirations, the proposed projects should bring added value to the applicant’s community and the profession of oncology massage and/or esthetics. Projects can include such endeavors as:

  • massage or esthetics for oncology clients
  • formal case study reports
  • research or educational projects

These projects should align with the mission and vision of S4OM & S4OE. Creativity is welcomed and encouraged. This is an opportunity to grow professionally and provide community service to clients, your local oncology community, and the S4OM & S4OE communities.  These projects can include such endeavors as massage or esthetics for oncology clients, case study reports, research, educational projects, or other ideas.

Program Design

  • Available to all S4OM & S4OE Preferred Practitioners (PP’s)
  • 7 grants are available: Three grants of $1,000 and four grants of $500.
  • Project must be completed within 18-months
  • PP can be awarded 1 grant per cycle

2023 Timeline

  • Applications were due September 10, 2023
  • Announcement of awards was made on October 10, 2023
  • Award recipients will provide frequent written check-ins throughout the grant period
  • Projects must be completed by March 31, 2025


Congratulations to our 2023 Award Recipients



Learn more about the grant award recipients and their projects:

Raizelah Bayen LMT

Bellingham, Washington, USA

Project Title:

Low-Fee Integrative Massage Therapy for Cancer Patients

Project Description:

The aim of this project is to make massage therapy more accessible to cancer patients, many of whom are unable to work while undergoing treatment. Open Pathways is offering Integrative Massage Therapy to cancer patients using sliding scale fees. The sliding scale makes it possible for cancer patients to receive up to 4 bodywork sessions for as low as half the regular price (or whatever the patient can pay between half and full price).


Raizelah's Preferred Practitioner Profile

Mary Foster LMT, BCTMB

Houston, Texas, USA

Project Title:

Massage Therapy for Cancer Clients Experiencing Post-Surgical Pain.

Project Description:

My project is working with an oncologist that is in my office complex. I will work with 3 of her patients that are experiencing pain, and especially those that might not be able to afford massage therapy. I will see each of these patients at least 3 times.


Mary's Preferred Practitioner Profile

Kate Prouty, MM, LMT

Lansing, Michigan, USA

Project Title:

Using Skilled Massage to Help People with Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy


Project Description:

Through the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, I have designed a Clinical Trial to determine the effectiveness of targeted massage therapy vs standard relaxation massage therapy on patients who are currently going through chemotherapy. 

The team right now includes a Medical Oncologist, a Social Worker, a Statistician, a Medical Student, and an Oncology Massage Therapist. Additional members may be added as needed. 

Stage 1: A two-armed Clinical Trial including patients actively going through chemotherapy, who are symptomatic. We will be limiting our patient pool to those with breast cancer or digestive tract cancer. We will be screening out anyone with pre-existing neuropathy (such as with diabetes). Approximately 32 people will be in each of the two arms. Group 1 will receive three 20-minute TARGETED massages (hands or feet) per week for four weeks. Group 2 will receive three 20-minute GENERAL RELAXATION massages of the upper body only, omitting hands, per week, for four weeks. Clinical staff will administer pre- and post- massage surveys. They will include standard pain scales, anxiety, depression, stress, and wellbeing. When treatments have been completed, staff will contact patients at various points over six months with surveys. Long-term results have not yet been researched in previous similar trials. 

Stage 2: If Stage 1 yields positive results, we will focus on patients who have completed their chemotherapy but are still symptomatic. Details will be determined after reviewing Stage 1 data. 



My plan is to develop training courses with videos for massage therapists to educate them about CIPN, and provide them with targeted techniques and protocols to integrate neuropathy care into their practice.  


Our Clinical Trial is based on the successes seen at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (2022) and by Cal Cates in Washington, D.C.

There is good research backing up the idea that massage therapy can significantly decrease symptoms of CIPN. Every massage therapist should know about this and be able to provide this service for their clients. 

These two courses could be given in person (which I plan to do as I develop them), or online. 


Kate's Preferred Practitioner Profile

Donna Spencer LMT

Cudjoe Key, Florida, USA

Project Title:

“Pop Up” Oncology Massage Clinic


Project Description:

This project is a collaboration with Little Pink Houses of Hope. Every year Little Pink Houses of Hope provides 10 -14 families with a week-long vacation. Each of these families have a family member with cancer. The “Pop Up” oncology massage clinic will be providing free oncology massage therapy to the family members with cancer. In 2024 the destination is the Florida Keys. The “Pop Up” clinic will be housed in a Key West, Florida location, chosen by the host organization coordinator. The location will have two sanitized rooms, made to look and feel like a spa setting. Each room will have a massage table and necessary supplies. Participants will complete an intake form and pre and post treatment questionnaire.

My project will yield data and evidence that oncology massage improves physical and psychological well-being. It will open the door for future collaboration/partnership with Little Pink Houses of Hope and similar organizations with S4OM. This project creates a new model for oncology massage services delivery utilizing the “Pop Up” concept.

S4OM Preferred Practitioners can benefit from viewing the success of this project, examine a
new model for providing oncology massage and applying it to their practice. S4OM can examine the efficacy of this project and use of the pop-up model for future projects and collaboration with other oncology related organizations.


Donna's Preferred Practitioner Profile

Marcus Walsh LMT, BCTMB

Des Moines, Iowa USA

Project Title:

Mindful awareness in body-oriented therapy as an adjunct to cancer treatment: A pilot feasibility study.

Project Description:

I am working with Dr. Richard Deming, and his research team at the Richard Deming Cancer Center.

This research is specifically looking at Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy (MABT) to explore its feasibility in cancer treatment.  We are focusing on breast cancer patients and have limited the study to 10 patients who will receive a full 8-week cycle of MABT sessions.  MABT is massage with attention to building body literacy, interoception skills training to reduce avoidant/dissociative coping and to increase effective response to stressors, and mindful body awareness practice. I am planning to use the multidimensional assessment of interoceptive awareness (MAIA) for the measurement tool.   

Should this pilot study prove feasible, I plan to expand further research into a broader cancer study, eventually including caretakers and family members of patients undergoing cancer treatment.  


Marcus' Preferred Practitioner Profile

2025 Application Period and Deadline TBD


The application for the 2025 Preferred Practitioner Grant Program will be posted on the Private SOM & S4OE Preferred Practitioner Member Page when the application period begins.

To access the application Preferred Practitioners can log into the private page here.



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