Palliative Care Massage

The goal of palliative care is simple. Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with serious, advanced illnesses (curative or terminal). It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stress at any stage of illness.

Seen in this light, it becomes clear that massage therapy fits directly into this goal. Palliative massage is a comfort-based, supportive modality that can help to provide the best quality of life during all phases of palliative care. Because of this, massage is suitable from onset of diagnosis, up to and including the dying process.

What are the benefits?

Massage has been recognized to help alleviate common side effects of treatment and symptoms of serious illness including stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain.

Massage is recommended as much for emotional and psychological comfort as for easing physical pain. Massage can offer moments of comfort, well-being and beauty at a challenging time for patients and their families.

Where is the massage conducted?

Massage therapy can be arranged at your home, care facility or hospital setting. The massage is performed while you are lying in your bed, sitting in a wheelchair or recliner or on a professional massage table. There is no need to be transferred, as the massage is most beneficial where you are most comfortable. Pillows, blankets and towels can be used to position your body to your most relaxing state.

What is a palliative massage like?

First of all, this kind of massage is gentle and slow. It can be performed fully clothed, however it can also include an application of warm cream to the dry areas of the body. Sometimes, soft music is played and the use of essential oils are used to entice the senses. Typical sessions include:

  1. Therapeutic foot massage with cream to aid in relaxing the entire body

  2. Slow relaxing strokes or compression massage to the legs to aid in circulation

  3. Shoulder and neck massage while in a chair to relieve muscle tension or headaches

  4. Gentle movement to aching joints

Touch is a universal language. Gentle massage is a way of communicating with those who are non-verbal or unable to express themselves well orally.

LightTouch Therapeutics has been bringing massage therapy to individuals living with serious, advanced illness for almost 15 years. We provide sessions in homes and care facilities throughout Saratoga, Albany and Schenectady County. At LightTouch Therapeutics, we strive to provide comfort and respite to both clients and their care partners. To make an appointment, please call 518-288-5199.

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