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Hand and feet massages provide consolation for bereaved relatives

four key themes:

1) A helping hand at the right time

  • "I was happy to find the leaflet about the study in the folderStraight away I felt it was for me. And as I phoned it felt great just to speak with a professional."
  • "Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. I just felt I needed to do something to get rid of that pain and it seemed like a good alternative."

2) Something to rely on

  • "I almost longed for it. It started at the beginning of the weekthe massage became something to look forward to."
  • "She [the therapist] has cared for him and now she cared for me."

3) Moments of rest

  • "I could focus on my grief during the massage and that helped me handle the rest of the week."
  • "I was just lying there and no one expected me to talk about my feelings."

4) Moments of retaining energy

  • "I gained strength Through my weakness, strength emerged."
  • "I suddenly realised that I could go through my thoughts in a much calmer wayI was more sensible in my thinking."

A follow-up six to eight months after the study showed that 17 of the relatives had moved forward with their lives, but one had suffered further emotional problems after the death of another close family member.

"All the people we spoke to used the word consolation" says Dr Cronfalk.

"The massages provide physical touch and closeness and helped to diminish the feelings of empty space and loneliness that people felt.

"Study participants also told us that the massages helped them to balance the need to grieve and the need to adapt to life after the loss of their relative."


Contact: Annette Whibley

Page: 1 2

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