Comfort Touch: Nurturing Acupressure Massage for the Elderly and the Ill ~ Part Two ~

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:40 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

Comfort Touch:
Nurturing Acupressure Massage for
the Elderly and the Ill

~ Part Two ~

by Mary Kathleen Rose

Comfort Touch
So what is Comfort Touch and how can it be distinguished from other forms of massage and bodywork?

- Safety concerns and the condition of the client: Comfort Touch is a form of bodywork designed to be safe and appropriate for a broad range of people, for whom other styles of massage would be contraindicated. For example, in the elderly the skin can be very fragile and Swedish massage strokes of effleurage or petrissage can actually tear the skin or cause bruising of the blood vessels.

- The setting of the massage: Comfort Touch can be practiced anywhere. No special equipment is required. The client can be fully clothed in a chair, recliner or on a bed of any height.

- Body mechanics for the giver of touch: The therapist must adjust to the client by adapting her body mechanics to maximize effectiveness of the contact and ensure safety. During the training, stools, chairs or cushions are used by therapists as they work. Practitioners must be comfortable in their own bodies to offer comfort, and in some situations will need to limit what they do in order to respect their own bodies.

- The positioning of the client: Comfort Touch is usually performed with the client in the supine position. The prone position is contraindicated due to the limited mobility of the client, as well as concerns about breathing. It is also difficult to communicate with a client in the prone position. Techniques are adapted to be performed in the supine position, as well as the seated or side-lying positions. Pillows and towels are used liberally to position the client comfortably.

- Specific techniques of Comfort Touch: The techniques of Comfort Touch are largely derived from Asian bodywork (shiatsu and acupressure), which gives great adaptability and flexibility to the work. It incorporates an understanding of the energetic qualities of the meridian system of the body, as well as major motor points of the muscles.

- Principles and intentions of Comfort Touch: This work is characterized by the intention to offer comfort. Other general principles that govern the work are described below.


The Principles of Comfort Touch
There are six principles that guide the practitioner of Comfort Touch. An easy way to remember them is to use the acronym "scribe," which relays the intention and quality of touch used in this work. Comfort Touch is:

- Slow -- Relax and be present in the moment, letting your own breath be full and deep. Moving slowly creates a restful atmosphere and allows for a safe and appropriate experience for both the giver and receiver of touch.

- Comforting -- Make the person comfortable and offer a soothing, nurturing touch. Your intention is to ease pain, not to try to cure or fix the person. The word "comfort" literally means "with strength." To give comfort one must come from a place of inner personal strength and share that strength and support with the person who needs it. To comfort also means to acknowledge the individual's inner strength and resources.

- Respectful -- Always maintain a respectful attitude toward your clients, appreciating the vulnerability they may feel about being touched. Listen to what they tell you, verbally and non-verbally. Be sensitive to their feedback about your touch. A respectful attitude that is compassionate and non-judgmental contributes to a safe and healing atmosphere for the client.

- Into Center -- The direction of pressure in Comfort Touch is in to the center of the particular part of the body you are touching. Pressure is applied perpendicularly to the skin, thereby preventing tearing of the skin or bruising of the tissues. The focus of intention is into the core or central axis of the part of the body being touched. This specific direction of pressure and accurate focusing inward of intention allow for a penetrating touch, even with light to moderate pressure. Both the giver and receiver of touch experience a profoundly deep sense of connection.

- Broad -- In general, all strokes are applied with a broad even pressure. This contributes to a feeling of soothing comfort and connection. While the pressure may be firm, the broadness of contact prevents the likelihood of injury or discomfort. Let the entire surface of your hand, especially including your palm, make uniformly even contact with the part of the client's body you are touching. Imagine your hand is melting into the person's body.

- Encompassing -- Let your touch surround the person's body. Be aware of the relationship between your two hands and the energetic field that exists between them. Hold the person in this space. When touching a large area, such as the back, acknowledge the shapes and contours of the body. When touching a limb or a toe, for example, encompass and enfold that part of the body. Encompassing touch contributes to a feeling of wholeness, of being cared for and acknowledged as a worthwhile human being.


Mary Kathleen Rose, CMT, has more than 25 years experience in the holistic health field. She supervises the massage therapy program at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield counties in Colorado, and offers trainings in Comfort Touch in various massage schools and medical settings. Find her at: http://www.comforttouch.com/index.htm

Rose, Mary Kathleen. The Gift of Touch -- Comfort Touch: Massage for the Elderly and the Chronically and Terminally Ill. Hospice of Boulder County, 1996.


  This beautifully produced video introduces the viewer to the principles and techniques of Comfort Touch, a nurturing form of acupressure massage designed to be safe and appropriate for the elderly and the ill. Drawing on her many years of experience practicing and teaching this work in home-care and medical settings, Mary Kathleen Rose shares the essential elements of Comfort Touch with demonstrations of its applications in the seated, supine and side-lying positions.

This program will inspire the viewer - whether healthcare professional or family caregiver - to offer the benefits of touch to those for whom conventional massage may cause discomfort or even injury. While Comfort Touch provides soothing relief for the elderly and the ill, it can enhance the quality of life for anyone in need of a caring touch.

Includes 40-page Video Guide, complete with Principles and Techniques of Comfort Touch, Benefits of Comfort Touch, Precautions in the Use of Touch and Self-Care Exercises for the Caregiver.

~ See More Here ~


Also check out Comfort Touch Acupressure Teleseminar with Susun Weed and Mary Kathleen Rose!

~ Read More Here ~

Comfort Touch® is a nurturing form of acupressure that can bring the benefits of touch to a broad range of people. While it is safe and appropriate for infants, the elderly, and the ill, it can also be enjoyed by anyone seeking relief from the stresses of daily life. Based on six guiding principles, Comfort Touch® offers a safe, respectful, and nurturing approach to touch. It is calming to the nervous system, so it promotes deep relaxation and relief from pain.

While Comfort Touch® is a complementary therapy offered in medical settings, is can be safely practiced at home with family and friends. It provides an enjoyable way for members of a family to care for each other, as part of a general focus on health and wellness.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software