“By touching a body, we touch every event it has experienced. For a few brief moments we hold all of a client’s stories in our hands. We witness someone’s experience of their own flesh, through some of the most powerful means possible: the contact of our hands, the acceptance of the body without judgment, and the occasional listening ear. With these gestures we reach across the isolation of the human experience and hold another person’s legend. In massage therapy, we show up and ask, in so many ways, what it is like to be another human being. In doing so, we build a bridge that may heal us both.”–Tracy Walton, “The Health History of a Human Being,”
Massage Therapy Journal, Winter 1999.
Sometimes, all someone who is terminally ill or going through cancer treatment wants, is to be touched.
Many times people are more reluctant to touch or be near a terminally ill person because they don’t want to be close to illness or because they think the patient is too fragile. Even very loving and caring family members can shy away from touching the dying or the very ill. Studies show that this is a very normal reaction but sad in that a caring touch can be very beneficial at these times. Even medical staff without realizing it, can be clinical and cold. There are many wonderful medical professionals who care very much about their patients, but they still have a job to do, which at times can be painful and uncomfortable for the patient. We can all imagine yearning to have human closeness and being pushed (if gently) away or ignored?
Massage is growing to be a recognized as a beneficial and viable treatment for terminally ill and cancer patients because it not only feels good, but it helps them feel close and connected to another human. The massage I give is intended to be caring and gentle, at whatever pace, pressure and duration best serves each patient.
Mobility for the terminally ill or cancer patients undergoing treatment can be limited. I am happy to come to the patient whether they are at home, in a hospital or hospice facility and will accommodate their situation. Sometimes a hand and arm massage is all that might be possible and can be a very welcome reprieve. Family and close friends can be present during the massage if that is what the patients wants.
Massage can make a very difficult time a little easier. It can improve mood and morale, along with circulation and blood pressure.
If you or a love one are in need of this type of massage, please contact me with any questions.