Massage therapy is a valuable component of palliative care for patients facing end of life, and healthy touch helps patients’ caregivers and family members as well.
Recent research shows massage is a “commendable source of consolation support during the grieving process,” the researchers noted, and “soft tissue massage appears to be a worthy, early, grieving-process support option for bereaved family members whose relatives are in palliative care.”
Eighteen bereaved relatives (11 women and seven men) received soft tissue massage (25 minutes, hand or foot) once a week for eight weeks, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. “In-depth interviews were conducted after the end of the eight-week periods,” the abstract noted. “Interviews were analysed using a qualitative descriptive content analysis method. Results [showed that] soft tissue massage proved to be helpful and to generate feelings of consolation in the first four months of grieving.
“Soft tissue massage: early intervention for relatives whose family members died in palliative cancer care” ran in The Journal of Clinical Nursing.