September 2020Western Health’s palliative care patients will continue to receive massage therapy thanks to a grant from Western Region Aged Care Inc. The oncology massage service is solely dependent on external funding and provides welcome relief to patients by making them more comfortable.
Margaret Shaw, Western Health’s Wellness Coordinator, welcomed the funding. "We have received incredible feedback from patients and their families about the benefits of massage in a palliative care setting. Massage therapy is proven to relax the body and mind and create endorphins which in turn ease pain."
Studies have shown massage therapy provides a significant improvement in pain management plus a reduction in treatment side effects such as nausea, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
For many palliative care patients, the only form of physical contact they experience can be painful, such as the giving of needles required for blood tests and chemotherapy. Treatment is physically and emotionally draining on patients. Massage therapy can provide welcome relief assisting with the harsh side effects associated with cancer and its treatment.
Care and consideration is given by qualified massage therapists who focus on minimising the patient’s discomfort – especially those attached to intravenous drips or those with fragile bones or other physical changes brought on by their medical treatment.
"After receiving an oncology massage, the patients are noticeably more relaxed and comfortable. The benefits go beyond the patients receiving the treatment, with family members comforted by seeing the impact and relief in their loved ones" Margaret Shaw.
This is the second time the Western Health Foundation has successfully applied for a grant from Western Region Aged Care. The grant will enable palliative care patients to continue to access massage therapy until mid-2021.