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A Relieving Touch: Providing Massage Therapy for Palliative Clients and Caregivers


Over the last few months, six massage therapy students from Humber College prepared their stations to help bring relief to Circle of Care hospice clients and their caregivers every Friday morning.

“We’ve wanted to implement a massage therapy partnership program for quite some time. So when the opportunity came up with Humber, we knew we had to partner with them. It’s the right thing to do for our hospice clients and caregivers,” said Lisa Rae, Volunteers, Intake and MOW Services Director.

As part of their program at Humber, students complete a final placement providing massage therapy to hospice and palliative care individuals. The placement involves providing massage therapy sessions for two clients or their caregivers each week for a total of seven weeks.

Circle of Care’s hospice clients and their caregivers were extremely pleased to be able to participate in this partnership.

“I felt very relaxed after the massage. I had a broken arm, and my shoulder and neck often hurt from helping my brother,” explained the caregiver of one of our hospice clients. “But, the massage really helped release some tension and helped me relax.”

The son of another hospice client expressed his gratitude for the opportunity his parents were given to receive multiple massages through the Humber partnership.

“My dad has ALS. The massage provided a relief; it made my dad more comfortable. Afterwards, he felt that certain areas of his muscles were more relaxed, which is good,” says the client’s son. “As the primary caregiver, my mother has been dealing with the stressful situation and she’s always moving. So, she tried the massage therapy. It helped her to relax her muscles. She gets physically tired often, so having that option to get a massage was wonderful.”

The end-of-life journey takes a toll both mentally and physically on not just the client, but their primary caregiver as well. By partnering with Humber College, Circle of Care helped bring some physical relief to palliative clients and their caregivers. Visit our Hospice Care webpage for more information on the services we offer.