Wrist Relief, Acupressure Ill/Elderly, Cancer

Wrist Relief, Acupressure Ill/Elderly, Cancer

Comfort Touch
Acupressure for the Ill, Elderly, or Anyone Needing a Caring Touch
by Mary Kathleen Rose

Hazel never remembered my name. She often seemed confused about why I had come to her home, but once I began the hands-on bodywork session, she responded to my touch as if it were familiar. Hazel was 90 years old when her daughter first contacted me, hoping that massage could alleviate the chronic pain her mother experienced as a result of an injury and subsequent surgery to her hip.

I visited Hazel regularly in her home to give her massage. Usually, I worked with her lying face-up in her bed, making ample use of pillows to help her get comfortable. Sometimes she sat back in her reclining chair, and I pulled up a stool beside her to sit on as I worked.

I felt her sense of trust, as she smiled faintly and closed her watery blue eyes. I noticed the steady quality of her breath as she relaxed, letting go of the tension in her body.

When I saw Hazel, I used the nurturing acupressure techniques I developed while working with hospice patients and other elderly clients in my practice years earlier. This approach has come to be called Comfort Touch—a safe, appropriate, and effective form of bodywork for use with special populations, including the elderly and the acute and chronically ill, both in medical settings and home care.

Comfort Touch is a nurturing form of acupressure that promotes deep relaxation and relief from pain. For many people with compromised health, conventional massage (with gliding and kneading strokes) can cause discomfort or even injury. Fortunately, for those people with conditions such as arthritis, lymphedema, neuropathy, and fibromyalgia, Comfort Touch is not only safe, but its broad, encompassing compression is very calming to the nervous system. (To read more of this and other informative “quick read” articles, please click here BSspring-2018