Massage therapy is fast becoming an important part of care programs in hospitals and clinics because it offers the same benefits as a massage in a spa setting: reduced stress, increased relaxation, managed pain, and improved sleep habits, among a few. But patients are different than clients at a spa and face unique medical challenges. Hospital-based massage therapy can alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of patients like medically-fragile children, those hospitalized with acute conditions, and cancer patients.
For most adults, dealing with critical or terminal medical conditions is difficult enough. Imagine the fear of being a child without the capacity to fully understand or cope with a serious medical challenge. Massage therapy can provide comfort, nurturing, increased range of motion, and improved sleep while reducing pain from conditions like brain injuries, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, or ventilator dependent children.
Acute care patients
Adults with acute cases like head injuries, respiratory failure, or other urgent medical situations can also find relief with massage therapy. Massage can help ease their fears of major surgery, stimulate circulation, decrease blood pressure, reduce pain, and help patients relax. A recent study finds that the use of massage therapy in acute care settings can create an overall positive result in a patient’s ability to deal with pain.
Massage therapy has also proven to provide both physical and emotional benefits for cancer patients. It has been shown to reduce pain intensity and severity in cancer patients as well as help alleviate emotional symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia.
But with the benefits that massage therapy provides to patients also comes unique challenges like brittle bones, sensitivity to touch, muscle atrophy, decreased range of motion, rashes, tenderness, and maneuvering around equipment and tubes that the patient may be connected to. A massage therapist in a hospital setting also needs strong interpersonal skills like communication, motivation, negotiation, and problem solving. And above all, compassion.
Hospital Based Massage Therapy at LHAA
All massage therapists performing work in a hospital setting must approach their work with extra care. Hospital-based massage therapy training is a specialized academic program that offers advanced training in the clinical aspect of working in a hospital setting with extra emphasis on protocols to safety work on all populations of hospital patients.
Lexington Healing Arts Academy offers a 100-hour advanced training in Hospital-Based Massage Therapy (HBMT) where students you will have access to the latest research surrounding hospital-based massage, training by guest professionals from Baptist Health Hospital, and the safest, most effective hands-on massage protocols. For more information, click here.
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