Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with the hands done for therapeutic intent. Benefits of massage include improving the flow of blood and lymph fluids in the body; reducing heart rate and blood pressure; and, decreasing muscle tension and feelings of stress. It helps meet the human need for caring and affirmative touch, and induces the relaxation response.
Massage is an excellent way to enhance quality of life for a hospice patient. It can help restore feelings of self-acceptance and self-esteem to a person whose body has been invaded by a debilitating, perhaps disfiguring, disease. It addresses feelings of isolation and loneliness. The right touch at the right moment can be far more effective than words in acknowledging a person’s suffering, and offering comfort and support.
This program is supported in part by funding from Rice Health Foundation.