Massage & Bodywork

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2019

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Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 63 Then, he leans gently into my hand. He uses his truck to push more Cheerios into the couch, and I make slow circles on his back. David's truck drives over his mother's knees, and I gently squeeze his shoulders. His truck moves more slowly, and I do too. His truck speeds up. I speed up a little too. The truck stops. I stop too. Better to end on a high note than to push your luck. "Thank you for letting me work with you today, David." His mother is staring at me like I've performed a minor miracle. "I can't believe it. He doesn't let anyone touch him." "There's a first time for everything. Right, David?" He looks directly at me and grins. "David, high five?" I hold up my hand and he doesn't miss a beat. He slaps my palm. He goes back to his truck. "Vroom!" Notes 1. All names of patients and family in this article have been changed to protect patient privacy. 2. Marcia Levetown and the Committee on Bioethics, "Communicating with Children and Families: From Everyday Interactions to Skill in Conveying Distressing Information," Pediatrics 121, no. 5 (2008): 1,441–60, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2008-0565. 3. Chart adapted from Jodi E. Mullen et al., "Caring for Pediatric Patients' Families at the Child's End of Life," Critical Care Nurse 35, no. 6 (December 2015): 46–56, https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2015614. 4. Chart adapted from Jodi E. Mullen et al., "Caring for Pediatric Patients' Families at the Child's End of Life," Critical Care Nurse 35, no. 6 (December 2015): 46–56, https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2015614. Kerry Jordan and Lauren Cates are honored to work with Healwell (which is a big team of many people) providing massage therapy and education in hospitals around the Washington, D.C. metro area and around the world. Together, they have more than 35 years of experience in massage therapy with a focus on serving adults and children living with medically complex conditions, both in and out of the hospital. Please reach out and connect with them at info@healwell.org. When we follow these guidelines, other care providers at the hospital remember us. They seek us out. They ask our opinion. They give us more detailed information that helps us provide better care. They trust us. "Trust takes time and patience," Mowbray says. "The Healwell therapists are constantly available to demonstrate, train, educate, and advocate with the institutional decision makers and bedside staff. I can't remember a moment when it was clear that the massage therapists were accepted as part of the team. It came on gradually." Be Patient and Know When to Quit David is 4. When I arrive, he and his mom are on the couch. David is pushing a small dump truck with one hand and shoving Cheerios between the couch cushions with the other. I introduce myself to both of them. He doesn't look at me. He behaves like I am not there. His mother tells me, "David never lets anyone touch him except me. He freaks out every time anyone even just examines him." "Can I give you a massage?" "Really?" his mom says. "Yes! I would love that. My shoulders are killing me!" David's mom turns a little on the couch and I massage her neck and shoulders. She closes her eyes. She sighs, "This feels so good." David watches us for a moment, then returns to his trucks. While I rub his mother's shoulders, David slides a little closer to me. His mother sighs happily again. David stares at her, then slides a little closer. When he looks at me, I look at his mother or I look out the window. After 10 minutes, he has maneuvered himself and his trucks so that he is very close—with his back turned toward me. I sit next to him. "David, can I massage your back too?" "Vroom!" he says. He doesn't look at me, but he scooches an inch closer. I place my hand on his back. He is still for a moment.

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