Military Veterans and Massage Therapy
Massage General Courses

Military Veterans and Massage Therapy

Author(s): Rebekah Blowers

3CE credits 17 Lessons Text

Learn how to advance the use of massage therapy for military veterans especially those receiving services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Examine the structure of the VA and how complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches, including massage therapy, are gaining ground in practice and research. Learn about the organization and approach to integrating new services at the VA, as well as providing tips on how to familiarize massage therapists with their local VA care centers.

Examine the structure of and procedures for integrating new services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the progress being made in acceptance for complementary services, such as massage therapy, and how to massage therapists can get involved in their local VA care centers. When you complete this course you will be able to:

  • Understand how the Department of Veterans Affairs functions 
  • Understand how to advance massage therapy as part of the standard benefits package for veterans.
  • Define common acronyms in use by the Veterans Administration.
  • Detail the effects of pain, opioids and combat on veterans and how massage therapy can be a non-pharmacological alternative.
  • Describe current research on and usage of complementary and integrative health therapies at the VA.
  • Define ways to overcome barriers to massage therapy at the VA.
  • Describe the special considerations needed for veterans receiving massage

  1. The VA and Veterans Care
  2. The Hierarchy of Care at the VA
  3. Veterans Choice Program
  4. Massage Therapy and the VA
  5. How CIH Approaches Advance within the VA
  6. Veterans’ Pain and Non-pharmacological Alternatives
  7. Integrating Massage Therapy into VA Health Care
  8. Massage Therapy for Pain: an Evidence Map
  9. Massage Therapy Gaining Ground in the VA
  10. Success with a New Directive
  11. Barriers to Massage Therapy in the VA
  12. Looking at Acupuncture and the VA
  13. Next Steps in Advocacy of Massage Therapy
  14. Veteran Clients
  15. How to do Intake with Veteran Clients
  16. Massage Therapy for Veteran Clients
  17. Resources

Rebekah Blowers, MSHS, NCBTMB, LMT, is a graduate of the Potomac Massage Training Institute and an NCBTMB-approved provider. She had eight years of honorable service with the U.S. Navy and currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Her goal in studying health administration is to bring reform and complementary integrative health – specifically massage therapy – to other veterans.