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Feb 21, 2023

The word “palliate” comes from the Medieval Latin “palliare,” meaning to conceal, or to cover with a cloak. In the context of health care, a palliative approach is one that alleviates symptoms without curing disease. In this episode of The ABMP Podcast, Kristin speaks with author Cindy Spence about her book Palliative Touch: Massage for People at the End of Life, how practitioners can protect themselves during this emotional work, and why pressure, pace, and frequency are important aspects when doing hands-on work.

Cindy Spence has been a massage therapist specializing in oncology and hospice care since 1999. She believes in the power of choice and pursuit of optimal well-being at all phases of life, particularly during advanced illness and the dying process. Cindy’s training includes a master’s degree in Public Health and more than 100 hours of continuing education from institutions such as MD Anderson and Sloan-Kettering.

Co-creator of Final Touch Training, Cindy is a member of the Society for Oncology Massage, The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. As a member of the Oncology Massage Alliance, she provides massage in the chemo infusion room at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. She is also author of Comfort Massage Basics; A Training Program for Nurses and CNA’s in the Hospice Care Setting.

Cindy finds food for her soul in deep connection with family and friends, quiet time at the beach, long walks with her dog (Pongo), dancing, books, and prayer beads.




Palliative Touch: Massage for People at the End of Life:


Final Touch Facebook:





Kristin Coverly, LMT is a massage therapist, educator, and the director of professional education at ABMP. She loves creating continuing education courses, events, and resources to support massage therapists and bodyworkers as they enhance their lives and practices. Contact her at





Anatomy Trains:




Precision Neuromuscular Therapy:






Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.    













Healwell is creating community and a new kind of massage therapy practitioner all around the world. Check out our courses, join our online community, find us all over the social media universe, and bring your gorgeous self to the conversation!

Instagram: @healwell_org

Twitter: @healwell_org



Check out our podcast, Interdisciplinary, anywhere you get your podcasts!


Therapists who are drawn to Precision Neuromuscular Therapy are problem-solvers who want to learn new approaches, but also understand the “why” behind the “what”.  This desire resonates with our emphasis on the problem-solving process, rather than the teaching of a singular technique or approach. Led by founder Douglas Nelson, each PNMT instructor is a busy clinician with decades of practical experience.


We have taught hundreds of hands-on live seminars for more than twenty years, emphasizing precise palpation and assessment skills. PNMT online courses are another rich source of discovery and deeper understanding. Also available is a video resource library (PNMT Portal) with hundreds of videos of treatment, assessment, pathology, and practice pearls.


Learn more at


AnatomySCAPES—created by and for hands-on professionals.

As therapists, we want more than labeled charts of muscles, nerves, and bones. We crave anatomy education that informs our touch, and we want the know-how for working with the “stuff” in between. We want the whole story.

Led by AnatomySCAPES co-directors, and ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine columnists, Rachelle Clauson (FRS Fascial Net Plastination Project) and Nicole Trombley (Equilibrio Massage), our in-person lab workshops are in sunny San Diego, not far from the ocean. We teach you what the tissues look like, feel like, how they move, and how they relate to their surroundings.

Your eyes and hands learn to “see” what they could not see before. Come join us in the lab in 2023!