*Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category at the 2012 British Medical Association Book Awards* The simple sensation of touching someone's hand can have a powerful therapeutic effect. Hand massage is a positive and meaningful way of reaching out and providing comfort to those who are elderly, ill or nearing the end of life, and it can be particularly effective for people with dementia who may respond well to positive n-verbal interaction. This book offers inspiration for all caregivers looking for an alternative way to support and connect with a family member, friend or patient in their care. It teaches an easy 30 minute hand massage sequence and offers clear instructions and detailed illustrations to guide the reader through each step. Combining light massage strokes with focused awareness, and paying close attention to points on energy pathways, this book introduces a structured way of sharing touch that is grounded in Western and Eastern massage traditions. Gentle touch therapy is ideal for healthcare professionals and family members alike, and has been shown to have physical and emotional benefits for both the giver and the receiver.
Barbara Goldschmidt is a writer, researcher and licensed massage therapist. She has taught at health care facilities, community centers and in the massage therapy program at Swedish Institute, a college of health sciences in New York City. She has been active in the field of integrative health care for over 30 years. Her website can be visited at www.elementaltouch.org. Niamh van Meines is a nurse practitioner, currently self employed as a nurse consultant. She is a skilled clinical leader and educator in oncology, homecare, hospice and palliative care. She is also a licensed massage therapist and teaches massage therapy students about career development in end of life care.