The power of the therapeutic touch

As a reflexologist in a residential nursing home for over 25 years, I work with many older people who are dying but had never had feedback before. A client, in her late 80’s, had been in the last stages of life for 36 hours and was sleeping deeply with no response. She had been held by her family and made comfortable by the medical staff. I had treated her for 3 years and she knew my touch well as I held her hand. To my surprise she murmured 3 times, “Touch my feet”. The nurse was equally as surprised but allowed me to give her some very gentle reflexology. She became less restless and the next morning woke and asked for something to eat. At first the family thought I had performed some sort of miracle and that she would now recover. It was, of course, not to be but the family had an opportunity to say their goodbyes before she drifted back into her final sleep. That morning I had asked her if she recalled me working on her feet. She said she vaguely remembered feeling a strong desire for her feet to be firmly touched “for comfort”. Reflexology is a gift to share on tiny babies right up to the last breaths of old age.

June 2018