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Massage has many physical and emotional benefits for patients in palliative care, from preventing pressure sores and lessening physical pain to creating a tangible connection between the massager and the massaged.

In Dying in Good Hands, massage therapists and trainees will find the tools they need for massage at every stage of dying, with stroke sequences adjusted for the unique needs of palliative bodies. Medical professionals will learn how to use massage techniques on their patients and how to teach basic techniques to others. And family and friends, even those who have never massaged before, will discover tips to provide hands-on care and support for loved ones in their final moments.

Topics include:

  • Basic massage strokes and full-body massage routines
  • Massage treatments to aid the key areas of the respiratory system, digestion, and circulation
  • How to deal with the last moments of life and make the last breath more comfortable
  • Massage ideas for the physical and emotional needs of family, friends, and caregivers
  • Options on where to die, including hospitals, hospices, and home
  • Featuring real patient stories that showcase the power of massage in making the process of dying more comfortable

Table of Contents

Preface: Palliative Massage and the Power of Touch
Introduction: Dying for Beginners
Chapter 1: Palliative Massage Preparations
Patient Story: Gaston
Chapter 2: Basic Massage Strokes
Chapter 3: Full-Body Palliative Massage
Patient Story: Mary
Chapter 4: Circulatory Massage
Patient Story: Bill
Chapter 5: Respiratory Massage
Patient Story: Cec and Joni
Chapter 6: Digestive Massage
Patient Story: Brian
Chapter 7: The Last Breath
Patient Story: Joe
Chapter 8: Where to Die
Patient Story: Margaret
Chapter 9: Care for the Caregivers
Patient Story: Sylvan
Chapter 10: Grieving in Good Hands
Conclusion: Taking It to the Streets
About the Author

Christine Sutherland’s work in teaching families and medical professionals palliative massage continues to help people to die softly!

Balfour Mount, MD, father of palliative care in North America

People nearing end of life often receive the least touch at the very time when they could benefit from it the most. Dying in Good Hands offers a useful and practical exploration of how this vital form of human connection can be provided safely and affirmatively, both by professional care providers as well as loved ones.

William Collinge, PhD, author of Partners in Healing: Simple Ways to Offer Support, Comfort and Care to a Loved One Facing Illness

Christine Sutherland, an innovator and world leader in massage therapy, has taken the healing power of touch and created a novel, exciting, and caring approach to many medical conditions. Christine’s approach to palliative care is to encourage and teach the family and friends to form a massage team. With stories of her own experience, Dying in Good Hands teaches the benefits of the approach in the most tender, loving, and inspiring way.

Michael Biggs, MD, volunteer at the Camp Kerry Society, supporting children, youth, adults, and families impacted by serious illness, grief, and loss

Christine Sutherland

Christine Sutherland is a licensed massage therapist and massage instructor. She is the co-founder of the Sutherland-Chan School & Teaching Clinic in Toronto and the Director of the Canadian Institute of Palliative Massage. She makes Nelson, British Columbia, her home base as she travels the world spreading her message of hands-on healing.