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techniques of grounding, breathing, and mindful body patterning. I also practice with an understanding of the difference between sympathy and compassion. Here's a story I've found helpful: Imagine you are walking down the street. You hear someone cry out for help. As you get closer to the sound, you see someone is in a pit. You jump in to help. Now you are both stuck in the hole! That is sympathy. But if you really want to help, you stay at the top of the pit, acknowledge the person's plight, and offer them a ladder. In that act of compassion, you are helpful, but you maintain a safe and practical boundary, avoiding the "pitfall" of losing yourself to sympathy. Spiritual FOCUS (OR, THOUGHTS ON BEING MORTAL) As each year passes, I find myself approaching the age I once considered elderly. Aches and pains, and the annoyances of coping with chronic illnesses are a daily part of my life. But I am comforted in the knowledge that I am not alone. Priorities shift and change. I adapt and cope. I let go of the old, and accept new joys and challenges in my life. I am grateful for all of the elders who have welcomed me into their lives and showed me the way to live fully—no matter the present circumstances—as they adapt to change. And I am ever so grateful for all my friends, colleagues, and students who embrace the opportunities to offer the gift of touch to the older ones in their lives. Thank you for making the world a better place. Mary Kathleen Rose, BA, LMT, is the developer of Comfort Touch nurturing acupressure, author of Comfort Touch: Massage for the Elderly and the Ill (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009) and a DVD of the same title, as well as Comfort Touch of the Hands & Feet: A Guide for Family Caregivers (Wild Rose, 2015). Learn more at F r e e S O A P n o t e s w i t h M a s s a g e B o o k f o r A B M P m e m b e r s : a b m p . u s / M a s s a g e b o o k 67 Principles of Comfort Touch Comfort Touch is a nurturing form of acupressure developed by Mary Kathleen Rose. Following six guiding principles (summarized by the acronym SCRIBE), it is designed to be safe, appropriate, and effective for the elderly and the ill. Simply stated, the practitioner learns to Slow down to connect with the client, maintaining a clear intention to offer Comfort, with an attitude that is Respectful of the person being touched. Direct pressure is applied Into the Center of the part of the body being touched, with Broad, Encompassing contact. While there is an apparent simplicity to this work, the practitioner will discover deeper layers of intricacy as they respond to the individual needs of each client. Learn more and share the work with your clients with Rose's new text Comfort Touch of the Hands & Feet, available for $17, plus $4 shipping, at clients, fearing that they might hurt them, not knowing what techniques to use. They are also concerned about the emotional issues that arise in working with this special population, many of whom live with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Regarding the first issue around hurting the client, it is important to understand changes that happen in the body's tissues with aging and illness, and seek training in appropriate techniques that are safe, appropriate, and effective. (See "Principles of Comfort Touch," below.) Regarding the second concern, I've been asked, "How do you protect yourself from your client's pain and suffering?" Certainly I've learned to respect the feelings, fears, questions, and concerns that arise as I work with others, but I don't really worry about protecting myself from my clients. I do acknowledge the need for self-care, which includes living a balanced and healthy lifestyle, as well as practicing MASSAGE FOR THE ELDERLY

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