For a cancer caregiver, the greatest frustration is often feeling helpless. Caregivers can help, feed, and sit with their loved ones with cancer, but it can be agony not to be able to ease their pain or get rid of their cancer. Having to sit and watch with no way to ease the pain of someone you love is heartbreaking. Spending time with someone is a profound gift, but sometimes a caregiver wishes for something a little more tangible.
Doctor David Rosenthal of Harvard Cancer Center says that he is a firm believer in training caregivers. “People don’t realize how difficult things are for caregivers,” he says. Caregivers, like the patients themselves, are at risk for depression, so it’s especially important that while they’re caring for their loved ones, they care for themselves to (or enlist a caregiver’s caregiver!).
Caregivers need practical tools that they can use to not only help the person they’re caring for but to also feel confident in their ability to help that person. PartnersInHealing is trying to create ways for caregivers to do ease pain, deepen connection, and build confidence through the power of massage.
Massage can help patients cope with cancer treatment. It helps them relax and eases pain, and it can be empowering for the masseuse as well, so long as they feel confident in their skills.
In the video below, caregivers learn how to give massages to their loved ones while being careful of their weakened bodies. Instructors address common concerns and encourage caregivers not to be afraid of giving a massage. Touch is a profound means of connection and helps both the patient and caregiver eliminate some of the stress that they’re feeling.
Watch below as caregivers go from timid to confident and patients go from unsure to completely relaxed! The instructors in the video below show quick snippets for each body part. Take a look and then see if you can find someone to volunteer to give you a massage!
Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.