Massage Therapy

The Role that Graduates of Massage Therapy School Can Play in Palliative Care

December 07, 2018

Young man having a massage

When students graduate from massage therapy school and pass their registration exam to become massage therapists, they have a number of options with regards to what kind of setting they’d like to work in. Rehabilitation clinics, multidisciplinary clinics, or sports therapy clinics are all common options, as are spas and mobile massage services.

Another worthwhile avenue that students might want to consider is palliative care. While the role of massage therapists in palliative care might not be as widely understood as their role in spa or clinic settings, palliative care offers massage therapists a rewarding opportunity to provide invaluable comfort and care to individuals suffering from life-limiting illnesses, and can be an incredibly rewarding career path for those well suited to it.

If you’re interested in what options might be available to you after massage therapy school, read on to find out more about the role that massage therapists can play in palliative care.

What Students in Massage School Should Know About Palliative Care
Palliative care is a type of healthcare intended for people who are facing life-limiting illnesses. While it can take place alongside curative treatments, palliative care itself is not intended to be curative. It is focused instead of improving a person’s quality of life, easing their pain and increasing their comfort and happiness. It pays close attention to physical symptoms of illnesses like pain, nausea, and fatigue, as well as psychological symptoms like depression and anxiety. At its core, palliative care is about making those with serious illnesses feel better. massage therapy helping a patient
Palliative care is about improving quality of life

While palliative care used to be considered something that was necessary only for end-of-life treatment, it’s become increasingly recognized for its value in earlier stages of care for those with serious and chronic illnesses.

Palliative care uses a team approach that may include a range of individuals including volunteers, social workers, medical professionals, and counsellors. Professionals with training from massage therapy school, as well, can play a valuable role as part of this team.
How Palliative Care Clients Can Benefit from Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can offer a range of benefits to those in palliative care. It can be useful for reducing pain and helping to treat physical symptoms like stiffness and aching. It can promote general relaxation and a sense of well-being, and reduce anxiety. Massage therapists also offer clients valuable one-on-one attention and comforting physical contact. Alongside the work being done by the rest of a palliative care team, massage therapy can be part of an effective plan for improving a person’s quality of life, and alleviating their discomfort and pain. massage therapy on shoulders
Massage therapy can help clients with their pain and anxiety

Working with Palliative Care Clients after Massage Therapy School
Students in massage therapy college should know that there are differences between working in palliative care and working in a standard clinic or spa setting.

Massages with palliative care clients tend to be more about comfort and presence and less about deep pressure work. Massage therapists should focus on relaxing and gentle techniques, and should be highly responsive to the client. Tailored massage work is a high priority when working with palliative care clients, who each have their own unique set of needs. Pace, pressure, stroke selection, and positioning will all need to be adapted on a case-by-case basis. For those who are interested in massage work with a focus on comfort and compassion, and who enjoy working as part of a team, palliative care can be a great career path after completing training and registering as a massage therapist.

Are you interested in starting a career in massage therapy?

Contact Medix College for more information about massage therapy courses.

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