Integration of massage at medical facilities often requires public demand. As hospice massage therapists toiled as freelancers and volunteers, patients and their families saw the benefits of the practice and increasingly have come to insist on it.
The value of massage therapy in pain management is an easy association to make. MTs, like yourself, feel confident in their role of easing pain, and can point to concrete reasons why they know massage is beneficial.
But what is the MTs role in serving those who have entered the final stages of life?
It's important to gain a broader perspective of the role of massage therapy in hospice care.
Hospice is about providing comfort and dignity at the end of life. The MT is there to help people live until they die. Quality of life is the goal.
Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can offer is holding a hand or the feet while you focus your attention on the inner wholeness of the one you are touching. It is important to center yourself prior to making any physical contact.
According to the AMTA, a 2014 study focused on integrating massage therapy into palliative care found “statistically significant changes in pain, anxiety, relaxation and inner peace of patients, decreasing both pain intensity and anxiety while increasing the patients’ sense of relaxation and inner peace.”
Serving those in hospice care can be profoundly rewarding as we contribute to the quality of life at a very personal and sacred time of another's life.