Holistic Nursing Principles Related to Massage Therapy and Reflexology
The nurse who performs massage therapy and reflexology is aware of the following:
• practice self-awareness
• be aware of intention to touch and permission to touch
• practice 4-H (healing hearts, healing hands) awareness
• offer touch to colleagues, family, friends, and clients daily
• receive touch daily
• be mindful of body-mind-spirit assessment outcomes
• be observant of precaution awareness
• be aware that massage or reflexology is client driven
• practice massage and reflexology in any setting, with or without oils
• be sensitive to changes in the body, mind, and spirit, and guide accordingly
• practice listening and understanding from the heart to facilitate healing in self and others
Information about massage therapy and reflexology has been shared for the purpose of creating awareness about healing modalities and encouraging the use of basic techniques that have been outlined. These basic techniques are used for self-care and for the care of others, in which intention to touch is understood by the heart and expressed by the hands. Creating touching moments in the work setting, where the compassionate nurse takes time to center and extend hands to a fellow nurse by massaging the shoulders and neck, is encouraged. Assessing areas of sensitivity on the hands or feet and applying pressure to these areas is a simple gesture used to release stress and tension and is offered to self, colleagues, or client. It is difficult to refute the power of a healing hand fueled of the understanding of a loving heart.
The evolution of massage therapy and reflexology over time certainly has shifted the education and training of the massage therapist and reflexologist. Nurses have evolved to a position of successfully completing additional education and training in massage therapy or reflexology and work as nurse massage therapists and reflexologists within nursing. Although basic information about massage therapy and reflexology is shown here to encourage the use of these healing modalities in almost any setting, proficiency in massage therapy or reflexology requires additional education and training to meet the standards of practice outlined by their respective governing authorities (The National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists and the International Institute of Reflexology). Nurses are encouraged to explore their interests and intentions, and if necessary, to seek additional education and training in their areas of interest.