Gayle MacDonald MS LMT began her career in 1973 as a secondary school health teacher. In 1989, she became a massage therapist, which led to the blending of her first two careers. After finishing massage school, she started teaching Body-Mind education for massage students. A serendipitous phone call in 1993 led her to develop a hospital massage program for cancer patients at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. Over time, MacDonald worked with heart transplant patients, women hospitalized because of a high-risk pregnancy, orthopedic and general medicine patients.
Gayle is a pioneer. Her book, Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer, (Findhorn Press) was pivotal in overcoming the myth that people with cancer could not have massage due to the fear of metastasis. She wrote the first modern hospital massage text, Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Patient (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins). It is this book which, in collaboration with Carolyn Tague, she has now rewritten and updated for Handspring. Gayle has travelled and taught in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands, and Belgium sharing what she has learned since starting at OHSU 25 years ago.