Burr Ridge, Ill. (March 6, 2018)—The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced that the profession’s first pilot Oncology Massage Specialty Certificate Program in partnership with the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) and the Center for the Advancement of Therapeutic Arts (CATA) in New York is available immediately.

“Throughout the development of NCBTMB Specialty Certificate Programs, we have been inundated with requests for a specialty in Oncology Massage. This is an extremely important sector of our profession, and we want to ensure we set the standard for the best educational programs and corresponding exam to set our therapists up for success,” explained Donna Sarvello, VP of Educational Support, NCBTMB. “To do that, we needed direction from the experts in this sector. S4OM and CATA are two organizations we feel very strongly exemplify excellence and will help us to engage with the medical and allied health care communities to determine the knowledge, skills, and experience therapists must have to succeed when treating oncology patients.”

Sarvello continued: “CATA Oncology Massage Program graduates are working at some of the most prestigious hospitals and medical centers in the country. CATA offers a well-rounded program—including an internship component—that honors S4OM’s foundational curriculum for oncology programs. For this reason, we felt CATA was the ideal partner to offer graduates the first opportunity to earn a Specialty Certificate. Additionally, therapists who have completed a S4OM-approved Oncology Massage foundational course will be able to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Eligibility requirements for the NCBTMB Oncology Massage Specialty Certificate are as follows:

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Must be a Licensed Massage Therapist with a minimum of 2 years work experience
  3. Must provide proof of completion of:
    1. CATA NYC’s Core Oncology Massage Program, OR
    2. CATA NYC’s Full Oncology Massage Program, OR
    3. S4OM Recognized Education Provider for Oncology Massage Foundational Course or the equivalent
  4. Pass the NCBTMB Specialty Exam

Additional oncology program graduates may qualify through the NCBTMB Portfolio Review process, as long the course/program includes all S4OM curriculum requirements. Programs and/or graduates of such programs should contact NCBTMB directly at info@ncbtmb.org for more information.

“Our primary goal for CATA’s Oncology Massage Training Program is to develop the critical thinking skills in order to work safely and effectively on any team, in any treatment facility or venue, with the understanding that massage doesn’t treat cancer—it treats the symptoms of cancer,” explained Michael Alicia, Founder, CATA NYC. “We’re finding that our graduates are seamlessly integrating into hospital, clinic and private settings with the appropriate assessment, communication and language skills, and in some cases even helping to establish a much-needed place for credentialed massage therapists on the oncology team of practitioners.”

The cost to apply for the NCBTMB Oncology Passage Specialty Exam is $95. Individual S4OM and CATA NYC Oncology Massage course pricing may vary.

For more information or to apply for the NCBTMB Oncology Massage Specialty Certificate Program, visit https://exam.ncbtmb.org/oncology-massage.


The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) is an independent, private, nonprofit organization founded in 1992. The mission of NCBTMB is to define and advance the highest standards in the massage therapy and bodywork profession. In support of this mission, NCBTMB serves the profession through Board Certification, Specialty Certificates, an Approved Provider Program, and an Assigned School Code Program. For more information, visit www.ncbtmb.org.


The Center for the Advancement of Therapeutic Arts (CATA) offers graduate-level continuing education and in-depth programs for therapeutic bodywork professionals. CATA is home to a diverse group of therapeutic bodywork practitioners in residence. For more information, visit www.catanyc.com.

About S4OM

The Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) exists to support and educate massage therapists, consumers, and health professionals about the value and specific considerations and applications of oncology massage. For more information, visit www.s4om.org.