Mary Kathleen Rose

  Mary Rose photo

Mary Kathleen Rose is a pioneer in the field of touch therapies for the elderly and the chronically ill. She developed Comfort Touch®, a nurturing style of acupressure, in response to the special needs of people in medical settings. Mary is a nationally known consultant for massage research and training in medical settings, including NIH-funded studies of people with spinal cord injuries, cancer, and sickle cell anemia, as well as other studies involving diabetes and hospice/palliative care. Since 1991 she has presented workshops in Comfort Touch® nationwide for thousands of massage therapists and other healthcare professionals, including the Health Education Network and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She supervised the massage program for 14 years with TRU Community Care (formerly HospiceCare of Boulder & Broomfield Counties). She has 12 years of experience as a facilitator for hospice-sponsored bereavement support groups.


Mary is a licensed massage therapist, with a B.A. in Integrative Healing (minor in Art) from Metropolitan State University of Denver (1998). After graduating from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy in 1985, she maintained a private practice in Barefoot Shiatsu, and Integrative Massage, Comfort Touch® until 2017. A wellness educator and herbalist, she holds a certification from Susun S. Weed in the "Spirit & Practice of the Wise Woman Tradition." For many years, Mary worked at women's fitness camps, practicing and teaching massage and women's wellness. She has led workshops in yoga and relaxation, nutrition, herbology, and healing through creative expression.


Mary, herself a Type 1 diabetic, is a founding member of the Boulder Valley Diabetics, a support group for people with diabetes and their families, which offers educational and emotional support to its members. She has been on the medical staff of several American Diabetes Association sponsored diabetic children's camps.


An artist and multi-instrumentalist musician, she also loves contact improvisational dance, spending time in garden and nature, and paddling a canoe or kayak. She is fascinated by the relationship between creative expression and healing.



She is the author of:


  • Teaching Massage (contributing author to chapter 6: Classroom Management. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2009.

  • Bereavement: Dealing with Grief and Loss. Wild Rose, 1996

  • The Children's Tarot - The Road is a River. Wild Rose, 1993, 2013

  • Comfort Touch® of the Hands & Feet: A Guide for Family Caregivers. Wild Rose, 2015

  • "Wild Roses." CD of Improvisational Piano music of Mary Rose. 2014


  She is also the author of numerous magazine articles, including the column "Talk About Touch," (co-authored with Mary Ann Foster) for Massage & Bodywork Magazine.