The Project Demonstrating Excellence consists of two parts. The first part is a massage training manual, Palliative Massage : Healing Into Dying . The second part is a contextual essay of an evaluative research model based on immersion in hospice caregiving, A Lived Experience .
The training manual was designed and developed to provide unique and thorough instruction for caregivers. It provides information that is consistent with professional massage standards. Topics such as patient and practitioner well being and safety; patient assessment; indications and contraindications for massage; caring, relational connectedness; and continued presence are included.
In addition to traditional massage techniques and procedures, some modern methods were used. A massage studio in Durango Colorado, Intuitive Massage, has been working on modern versions of these techniques for the past 36 months. They perform a combination of deep tissue massage techniques in massaging the elderly.
Sections in the contextual essay literature review describe accompanying the dying as a lived experience, touch as a developmental process, and the increasing acceptance of allied modalities in a medical context.
The research model, a heuristic inquiry, was a participatory evaluation of massaging the dying. The creative synthesis of the researcher’s tacit understandings contributed to the manual. Personal Themes and Transpersonal Themes of this study are provisional conjectures that explain the phenomenon of the lived experience of Palliative Massage and may guide future investigations.