Holding Techniques for Gentle Massage – Pitoies
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Holding Techniques for Gentle Massage

03 Mar 2023 0 Comments
Holding Techniques for Gentle Massage
Holding techniques are a type of gentle massage that can be especially beneficial for individuals living with dementia who enjoy touch but prefer limited movement during massage. These techniques are also useful for those who bruise easily, have medical conditions that preclude traditional massage, or for whom the safety of massage is uncertain.

Throughout the session, it is important to communicate clearly and provide reassurance to the individual. Let them know what you plan to do before each step and ensure they feel comfortable before proceeding. Take your time and apply pressure very gently to create a relaxing experience.

To prepare, find a warm, quiet space free of distractions. Personal comfort items like blankets can help the individual feel relaxed and build trust with the caregiver. Understanding the person's health and life history is vital to providing appropriate support.

Here are the steps to follow for holding techniques:

Step 1: Hand holding
  • Sit with the person and hold their hand.
  • Lift their hand and place it between yours, applying very gentle pressure.
  • Hands can rest on the person's lap or be held up depending on their abilities and health issues.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Gently place the hand down and transfer to the other hand.
  • Hold again for 30 seconds.
  • Gently place the hand down.

Step 2: Lower and upper arm holding
  • Let the person know you will be holding their arm.
  • Take the person's lower arm and hold either side of it with both hands using a very gentle touch.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, then move your hands one at a time to the upper arm and hold for another 20-30 seconds.
  • Gently put the arm down and move to the other arm.
  • Repeat the process.
  • Gently let go of the arm.

Step 3: Shoulder holding
  • Let the person know you will be standing behind them.
  • Place your hand gently on the person's shoulders and hold them for 20-30 seconds.
  • Once finished, move to where they can see you.

Step 4: Head holding
  • Stand behind the person and gently place one hand on their forehead and the other on the back of their neck.
  • Hold in place for 20-30 seconds.
  • Only perform this step if you know the person, as they may not enjoy having their head touched.

Step 5: Finishing
  • No matter how many holding techniques you perform, always end with this one.
  • Sit with the person and revisit the hand holding step, placing one or both of your hands on theirs for about 5-10 seconds.
  • Tell them that the session has now ended.

Remember to be sensitive to the person's reactions and adjust the techniques accordingly. By following these steps, you can provide a calming and enjoyable experience for those who may not be able to tolerate traditional massage.

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