A massage therapist’s ability to heal through touch is a skill that can go beyond treating everyday injury and pain.
Therapists who have a large heart of compassion for those who are critically ill and dying, or who are extremely physically debilitated or receiving hospice care, find their skills well placed comforting those who are too ill for regular massage.
Using light touch methods, including hand and foot massage, therapists seek to “care for” rather than “cure.” Patients who are dealing with pain, anxiety, nausea, or who are desperately missing the sensation that the gentle touching offers, experience great physical and emotional relief.
Read more about light touch massage for end-of-life care, and the use of oncology massage for cancer patients.
Image courtesy of: Longfield Hospice Care
“The power of touch through massage has been proven to reduce stress, depression, and pain while bringing peace and enjoyment to people dealing with debilitating cancer or end-of-life hospice care.
Loved ones are often leery about touching someone who is in pain for fear of hurting them. “Being sick can be a challenging emotional experience,” said Lisa Marie Oakes, CMT, a licensed massage therapist in San Diego trained in oncology massage and a volunteer with The Elizabeth Hospice.
In some ways, a massage therapist may be the only non-medical person to gently touch older or sick patients in a soothing way that doesn’t make them feel guilty, humiliated or prodded.”