We would like to thank all of our participants for raising $11339 of our $15,000 goal.

Here are our 
    • Amanda Jane Hussein
    • Claudia Wong
    • Keri Frankenstein
    • Carole Nathanson
    • Cathy Zink
    • ChaCha Weinstein
    • Christine Knapp
    • Debra Punak
    • Dora Yari
    • Elyce Talavera
    • Ethan Hall
    • Hannah Hall
    • Jill Hall
    • Camille Harris
    • Janna Chambers
    • Jessica Weizenbluth
    • Juliana & James Bancroft
    • Kris Powell Letty Koebke
    • Lisa Smith
    • Mahrad Enayati
Thank you for all of your hard work, and thank you to your communities for donating, 

We still still are looking for donations to reach our goal, if you would like to donate, click the link below.
Renee Zagozdon, November 14, 2017 (Massage Therapy Journal)
From increased concern about the opioid epidemic to patients who are looking for more integrative, holistic ways to manage pain and anxiety while in the hospital, massage therapy in the health care setting is becoming a viable option for care-and is being supported by more and more research.
What this boon means is that massage therapists interested in working with hospitals have opportunities that might not have existed in the recent past. But with this opportunity also comes a need to fully understand the health care environment in general and the hospital environment more specifically.
Following, you'll find information about working in the hospital setting, including how massage therapy can help, what you can expect and what's expected of you.

How Massage Therapy Helps in the Hospital Setting

Pain management is both a critical and challenging issue for patients who are either about to undergo or are recovering from surgical or operative procedures. Still, if postoperative pain is effectively managed at the acute state or during immediate post-surgical periods, studies have found patients are often able to recover uneventfully and return to their normal daily activities. 1

Even knowing this, a significant number of patients still transition into chronic post-surgery pain or persistent post-surgical pain, defined as pain lasting longer than two to three months after surgery. 1,2
Other functional outcomes are also affected by uncontrolled post-surgery pain, mainly sleep, mood and quality of life. 3 The fear and anxiety that patients preparing for surgery commonly feel also complicates both pre- and post-surgical pain management and increases the likelihood they'll develop chronic post-surgery pain. 4,5

The good news, however, is that research is also showing massage therapy can help patients better manage pain. For example, a collaborative metaanalysis of research on massage therapy for pain, conducted by Samueli Institute and commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation with support from the American Massage Therapy Association, concluded that massage therapy can be effective for reducing pain intensity/severity and anxiety in patients undergoing surgical procedures. 6

Additionally, a 2012 study published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery showed that massage therapy significantly reduces pain, anxiety and muscular tension in cardiac surgery patients while also enhancing relaxation, which may be especially needed in the hospital setting where patients may be dealing with pain for a variety of reasons. "The most common reason that massage therapy is requested is usually related to uncontrollable pain that the patient is experiencing," say Maegan Dollof and Stacey Gilbert, who are massage therapists at Centura Health Integrative Medicine.

Jennifer Hauschulz, BCTMB, Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine and Health, agrees, explaining how she's seen firsthand how pain-especially postsurgical pain-can be helped by massage therapy.

Stress and Anxiety
There are many reasons why hospital patients may feel stress and anxiety, and, like pain, leaving these feelings unchecked can interrupt healing. "Many times the pain is exacerbated by the stress and anxiety that the patient is experiencing in the hospital," Dollof and Gilbert explain. "Spending 15-30 minutes with a patient providing massage therapy techniques can lower a patient's blood pressure and improve their oxygen levels while also decreasing the pain and anxiety they may be feeling."
Immobility and Sleeplessness
For some patients, hospital stays can be long, sometimes extending 100 or more days, according to Hauschulz, and massage therapy can help these patients better cope with some of the common side effects of long stays, like sleeplessness or restlessness.
Immobility, too, can be a big issue for patients who are there for surgery or older patients who are unable to leave their bed during a hospital stay. Muscle pain can result, and there is increased risk for conditions like bed sores, too. "Massage therapy provided to inpatients helps alleviate aches and pains associated with the lack of mobility," explains Dan Halpain, a hospital-based massage therapy instructor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine San Diego. "It is used to increase circulation to extremities, reduce the formation of bed sores and improve sleep."

Just as sleeplessness could result from long hospital stays, hospitals can sometimes be very isolating, and massage therapy has the potential to help a patient better deal with feelings of loneliness. "[Hospital massage therapy] can help the patient not feel [as] isolated," says Jeremy Miller, a massage therapist at Allina Health Minnetonka Clinic.  (Read her entire article here)

1. DeFrances CJ, Cullen KA, Kozak LJ. National hospital discharge survey: 2005 annual summary with detailed diagnosis and procedure data. Vital Health Stat. 2007;13 (1):1 209.
2. Peng Z, Li H, Zhang C, et al. A retrospective study of chronic post-surgical pain following thoracic surgery: Prevalence, risk factors, incidence of neuropathic component, and impact on qualify of life. PloS One. 2014;9 (2).
3. Finan P, Goodin B, Smith M. The association of sleep and pain: An update and a path forward. J Pain. 2013;14 (12):1539-52.
4. Clarke H, Woodhouse LJ, Kennedy D, Stratford P, Katz J. Strategies aimed at preventing chronic postsurgical pain: Comprehensive perioperative pain management after total joint replacement surgery. Physiother Can. 2011;63(3):289-304.
5. Adams R, White B, Beckett C. The effects of massage therapy on pain management in the acute care setting. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2010;3(1):4-11.5.
6. Courtney Boyd, MA Cindy Crawford, BA Charmagne F. Paat, BS Ashley Price, BS Lea Xenakis, MPAWeimin Zhang, PhD. The Evidence for Massage Therapy (EMT) Working Group. The impact of massage therapy on function in pain populations-A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials: Part III, surgical pain populations. Pain Medicine. Volume 17, Issue 9, 1 September 2016, Pages 1757-1772.

Our next trainings for January and February 2018
Massage for Pediatric Patients 
Training Participants!

Many of these participants will go on to volunteer with medically vulnerable children at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital or Providence TrinityCare Hospice.

Heart Touch Method Training Participants!

Special thanks to our facilitators in training, Raneil Alonzo, Deborah Spector, Noriko Smith, and Christine Knapp, for assisting in our last training of the year! It was an awesome group to end the year with!

Essential Oils In The Hospital Setting 
Training Participants

This group of participants can be seen mixing their own essential oil blends. Blending essential oils is one of the many hands on demonstration and practicums taught by instructor Vivian Engelsen.
More Fun That Happened This Fall!
Dogs of November Photoshoot

Heart Touch board member and UCLA Mattel volunteer, Keri Frankenstein, held her very first doggie photoshoot in the Heart Touch's training room! 

To the left is a picture of one of her most endowed subjects.  This little guy had his photo taken in his brand new red Tesla convertible. An experienced driver always remembers to bring his racing goggles! 

Keri will be holding another doggie photoshoot for all the dogs of Heart Touch to get their picture taken! 
Stay tuned!
Compassionate Companion Volunteer Program

On November 10, the Heart Touch Project joined a community collaboration between the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Mount Saint Mary's University, and VITAS Healthcare. This program trains Mount Saint Mary's students to become a compassionate companion and offer support and physical presence to the sisters of St. Joseph. 

Heart Touch had the pleasure of facilitating an exercise to help MSMU students explore communication through touch. 
 We are so grateful to be a part of such a caring volunteer program!