What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy can provide comfort and relaxation at a time of increased anxiety and fear for hospice patients, as well as assuring family and caregivers that someone is providing a gentle and compassionate method of care.
Patients exhibit positive responses to massage therapy including a decrease in emotional distress, anxiety, physical discomfort, nausea and muscle and joint tension or stiffness. Additionally, massage treatments can lead to improvements in circulation which aids in digestion and prevents pressure sores. Massage provides nurturing with a gentle, caring touch and physical connection, impacting the quality of life in a positive way for both patient and family.
The environment is often regarded as being integral to massage therapy and often consists of a comfortable, warm quiet location. Most approaches in a massage session involve the patient in a supported, side-lying position, reclined in a chair or sitting in their wheelchair. Depending on the patient and which technique is being applied, sessions generally last from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the patient’s tolerance to the massage. Some patients enjoy the aromatic benefits of scented lotions and relaxing music to enhance the session. Hospice patients can benefit greatly from receiving massage on a regular basis to enhance their sense of well-being and to feel nurtured during the end-stages of life.