As stressed caregivers, we hear it often, “Take time for yourself.” If you’re anything like me, the thought of having to schedule one more thing into your life just adds to your stress, even if it’s for relaxation. Then I came across Progressive Massage Therapy and thought, What if you could incorporate relaxation into your caregiving?
Meditation is one of the most well-known forms of relaxation. Massage therapy is known to ease pain and anxiety. Progressive Massage Therapy is a blend of the two. It gives caregivers the benefits of meditation while you ease the pain and anxiety of the person you care for.
I first learned about Progressive Massage Therapy through Today’s Caregiver. It is the recent winner of the Caregiver Friendly Award, and I can certainly see why. Progressive Massage Therapy involves gentle-touch massage techniques performed with the soothing mood of meditation. Performed with mindfulness, a caregiver can reap as many benefits as the care-receiver.
World-renowned Zen master and peacemaker, Thich Nhat Hanh, teaches: “Mindfulness is a kind of energy that we generate when we bring our mind back to our body and get in touch with what is going on in the present moment, within us and around us. We become aware of our breathing and come home to our body, fully present for ourselves and whatever we are doing.” https://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/ Progressive Massage Therapy can do this for the giver as well as the receiver.
When my best friend was in the hospital riding the rollercoaster of pain, one of the best things I could do for her was rub her legs. To this day, years after I’ve lost her, I think back with peace in my heart, knowing I brought her some comfort during her last days. The gentleness we extend to someone through our touch – with long, soothing strokes – feeds back into us, giving us a mirror benefit, a form of mindfulness and meditation. After all, touch, in and of itself, is restorative. But, what if you’re afraid your touch will hurt the person?
For some, the hardest part of Progressive Massage Therapy is getting over the fear of touching someone with advanced illness or at the end-of-life. In her digital course, Susan Gee not only provides hands-on training to give you confidence in your skill, but also teaches you how to communicate and adjust your touch to the receiver’s needs. Mostly, it’s about being fully present in the situation and learning how to be calm when facing stressful situations. Lest you think of this as just another “to-do” to add to your to-do list, consider this.
- The online course is made up of 10-minute hand-on lessons, minimizing your time commitment.
- You develop a skill that helps with your caregiving.
- Easing pain and anxiety of your care-receiver will reduce your own stress and anxiety.
Ultimately, simple touch has the power to sooth symptoms, strengthen communication, and nourish relationships. And, it comes at a very reasonable price of $67. Think of it as an investment in peace.
So the next time someone tells you to take time for yourself, consider incorporating Progressive Massage Therapy into your caregiving. Find it at: https://progressivemassagetherapy.thinkific.com/courses/a-guide-for-caregivers