Massage therapy is such an invaluable tool for healing; especially when it comes to the end of life. It’s one of the best therapies available for bringing comfort to a patient who’s near death. As a person approaches the end of their life, they often experience a wide range of emotions; sadness, grief, anger, etc. The psychological turmoil can weigh heavy on their mind and it’s also possible that they could be in pain and hurting.

The human touch is an amazing thing. The connection that you share with another person simply by the act of touch can often bring them relief. Most patients at the end of their life are not in a position to get a traditional massage like you would find in a spa or chiropractor’s office. The need for a full-body massage or deep tissue work is often unnecessary and sometimes unwanted at the end of life.

But someone holding a hand, stroking an arm or rubbing a foot can have a powerful effect on both the physiological and psychological state of the patient.   As more and more people are living and dying with degenerative diseases, the simple act of touching can ease some of their discomfort. More and more studies are showing that massage can in fact, lessen the pain that a person might be experiencing.[1]

The one-on-one personal time the massage therapist can give the patient is important as well. Oftentimes the patient is in a clinical setting surrounded by medical staff and healthcare workers coming and going. It’s difficult for those people to sit with the patient uninterrupted and just talk, hold their hand or stroke their arm, but a massage therapist can invest this quality time. We can offer the patient that listening ear or that soothing touch to help bring relief and encourage the patient to relax.

The benefits of massage are many. It’s been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety, agitation and depression in addition to helping ease pain and relieve joint stiffness. It positively impacts the quality of life by helping the patient to relax and have a better sense of inner peace. And isn’t that what we would all want as we approach the end of our life?

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168862/

 

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