How to Give Comfort through Touch and Massage to a Loved One with Cancer
by Ilyse Streim, LMT, CMLDT
Being a caregiver for a loved one with cancer has both gratifying rewards and heartbreaking challenges. There can be great satisfaction in expressing caring through action. However, it can be frustrating when it is not clear how you can help or how you can best make a difference in your loved one’s comfort.
One of the most comforting forms of support you can give a loved one with cancer is the use of touch through massage. Studies show that simple touch can lead to significant reductions in symptom levels, and speaks to the untapped potential of family and friends to improve patients’ quality of life by including this form of support in their caring.
On Wednesday evening, April 22, Ilyse Streim, a massage therapist with Good Samaritan’s Center for Integrative Medicine, will teach a special workshop for caregivers and their family member/friend experiencing cancer. The class will address and demonstrate safe, effective hands-on techniques to further deepen and enhance communication and connection in the care-giving role.
The evening will be a multimedia presentation in which the DVD, “Touch, Caring and Cancer” will be shown. The DVD shows simple techniques of touch and massage to empower family and friends to be active participants in a loved one’s care.
Developed through research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, the “Touch, Caring and Cancer” program was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial that found care partners could significantly reduce symptoms and side effects of treatment in patients simply by following the instruction provided in the DVD and accompanying manual. The accessible instruction can help caregivers enjoy new satisfaction in caregiving, overcome feelings of helplessness, and deepen their sense of connection with their loved one.
The techniques that are taught are for the purpose of comfort and relaxation only. They involve light and uncomplicated methods. This is not “a massage video” or instruction in “oncology massage” or “massage therapy.” The hands-on techniques are offered as means of connection and communication with the patient—as ways of expressing caring. The real emphasis is on quality of relationship and communication through touch…technique is secondary.
The class will be taught by Ilyse Streim, Licensed Massage Therapist, specializing in Lymphatic and Oncology Massage.
The evening will include:
-Viewing the Award Winning DVD (78 min),
“Touch, Caring & Cancer”—sponsored by the National Cancer Institute
-Hands-on practice—simple techniques of touch and massag
-Instruction in safety precaution
-Q & A’s
To watch a preview of the DVD that will be shown, go to http://www.partnersinhealing.net/tcc.html and scroll down to the “6 minute preview”.
When: Wednesday, April 22, 5:30-7:30pm
Where: Conference Rooms 2 & 3 (2nd floor)
Good Samaritan Comprehensive Cancer Center
340 Exempla Circle, Lafayette, CO 80026
Cost: $10 per person
To register: Please call the Center for Integrative Medicine at (303) 673-1615
Note: caregivers are welcome to join the class without a partner if their friend/family member is not up to attending.