Veteran massage specialty certification

Clear Path partner Crouse Hospital introduces profession’s first Veteran massage specialty certification.

(Pictured above are (from left) U.S. Army Veteran Char Marx, RN, Clear Path’s Wellness Program director; Nicole Miller, massage therapy program coordinator at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse; and Cindy Hawks, LMT volunteer and Massage Clinic coordinator.)

Clear Path for Veterans’ partner Crouse Hospital in Syracuse has introduced the nation’s first Specialty Certificate in Military Veteran Massage. In partnership with the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), Crouse Hospital will begin offering the specialty to all participants who successfully complete the 80-hour Crouse Hospital Massage for Veterans Clinical Program and corresponding NCBTMB specialty exam.

Crouse’s clinical program is held at Clear Path and at Crouse Hospital, providing those enrolled in the program the opportunity to provide Veterans, active duty, Reserve and Guard massage therapy provided by licensed massage therapists.

“Clear Path embraced our Integrative Medicine Model, recognizing the contributions of massage therapy, reiki, yoga and more to a Veteran’s overall health and wellness,” said Nicole Miller, massage therapy program coordinator at Crouse. “Given New York State’s (Continuing Education) CE requirement, we designed a clinically-based course that would help support therapists with the knowledge and experience to provide massage therapy to Central New York Veterans. Throughout the development of the program, NCBTMB has provided us with helpful direction and support – serving as a great example of collaboration between service to the community and educational outreach.”

Program participants must be licensed to provide massage therapy as defined and regulated by the New York State Office of Professions. Licensees must be currently licensed and registered to practice in fields including, but not limited to, massage therapy, physical therapy, nursing, and chiropractic care.

The specialty exam includes questions which pertain to massage therapy considerations, treatment adaptations and methodology for Veterans; current medical/emotional/psychological challenges of Veterans; physical/psychological presentations and massage considerations for Veterans with PTSD, MST or TBI; indications/contraindications of massage for Veterans with PTSD, MST, or TBI; consent and psychological pressure; delegation of authority; ethics and boundaries; self-care, and more.

“This program has been a tremendous asset offered to our Veterans. For NCBTMB to recognize Crouse’s Massage for Veterans program is confirmation that these modalities have a positive impact on the lives of the Veterans that we serve,” said U.S. Army Veteran Char Marx, RN, Clear Path’s Wellness Program director. “We look forward to further development of this program, which will result in our ability to serve even more Central and Northern New York Veteran populations through our Mobile Warrior Reset.”

Steve Kirin, NCBTMB chief executive officer, said this specialty certification is the culminating efforts of several local and national organizations: Clear Path, Crouse Hospital, NCBTMB, the Syracuse VA, Upstate Hospital, and more.

“NCBTMB is proud to partner with Crouse and its many affiliates through our Specialty Certificate Program to empower therapists with the necessary education and experience to provide Veterans and their families with superior care—and with the credentials to prove it,” Kirin said. “We are thrilled to contribute to the advancement of therapeutic massage care for our Veterans as we support their journey home.”

For more information about the Crouse Hospital Massage for Veterans Program, visit For more information about the NCBTMB/Crouse Hospital Specialty Certificate in Military Veteran Massage, visit