Home » Blog » Massage for Palliative and End of Life care
Massage for Palliative and End of Life care
November 8, 2022
“I am often called by a family member to give a gentle massage for someone who is close to passing over. From my experience there is a right to passage to leaving with grace and dignity to allow a lightness and joy towards pass over.” ~ Yasmin Lang, Founder of Innermost Harmony Massage.
Yasmin Lang from Innermost Harmony Massage has been offering massage for Palliative and the end-of-life care for over 10 years.
When a person is struggling with pain or discomfort in the lead up to passing, massage can be a huge support for their overall well-being, helping their body to relax and let go. Whilst medications offer a vital form of support at this time, massage can bring the body into a deeper relaxation.
Over the years Yasmin have been offered the gift to support a person at the Palliative stage of life until their end of life and she has also worked with teams to support this journey.
Many people she says aren’t aware of this type of support being available during the palliative and end of life stages of care. For most families and carers, they are doing the best they can to ensure their loved one is comfortable right up until their passing, but sometimes the emotions felt around this time, coupled with medical demands on the carer, can mean they might not consider the benefits of having someone come in to do something as simple as a hand, leg or foot massage that can be deeply supportive for all.
Palliative and end of life massage can be given while the person is seated and fully clothed. Hands, arms, legs and feet are the most popular areas the patient responds to and when the body cannot be touched for pain reasons or if the patient is insecure, a gentle face massage can be given whilst the patient is laying down.
“These are tender moments where a light and gentle touch can bring that extra care and support to the person which compliments the nursing care” says Yasmin.
From her many years of experience, it is the ‘extra care’ that is now being recognised as vital in the delivery of a true palliative approach to well-being until end of life.
“You’d be amazed to see how a person’s eyes and whole mood change in response to being touched gently through a hand or arm massage. Being open to an alternative approach in a palliative care environment is important as the presence of care to the client and the carers is so valuable”.
Yasmin also notes the importance of supporting the carers. Some she says, did not necessarily sign up to care, but have found themselves in the role due to family commitments and they need support and understanding to value their role as a carer as well as how to make sure their own needs are being met during this time.
“Self-care for the carer is of equal importance during this time”
Yasmin is co-author of the Universal Self Care manual for Carers, where she also offers online courses for carers who are using the manual. These courses support carers to put their self-care into practice, reading through the chapters and writing notes from the daily activities to remind them of the simple yet small steps to self-care.
In Palliative and End of Life Care, the role of Doctors and Homecare professionals is paramount and should not be dismissed by complementary therapy practitioners. Innermost Harmony Massage works in unison with medical professionals to ensure a holistic approach is taken for the patient and to ensure the best possible outcome.
To finish, Yasmin notes that sometimes a patient just needs to be with someone outside of the family whose presence is gentle and non-imposing. Patients are very sensitive during this time and can easily pick up on sadness, stress and overwhelm in family members. Being with someone who isn’t carrying these emotions allows space for the patient to surrender more deeply in preparation for their passing. Yasmin sees this type of care for those in the end-of-life stages as a true gift for all.
To find out more about the services offered by Innermost Harmony Massage in relation to Palliative and End of Life Care get in touch with Yasmin directly at email@example.com or visit our Palliative Care pagehere.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Byron Bay Ballina Massage Therapist Yasmin Lang has been working with people for over 30 years with a depth of experience in massage, spa treatments, aged care, youth work, palliative care, dementia care and respite for people with mental health issues.
Over the years she has worked either from health and wellbeing centres or as a massage therapist in Byron Bay (from her home based clinic).