"Knowledge should be a refreshing and vitalizing force."
Hexagram 58, The Joyous, from the I Ching (Book of Changes)
Elemental Touch grew out of the concern of educators and practitioners who want to bring an awareness of touch into the lives of caregivers, particularly those looking for natural, gentle activities to help care recipients.
Family caregivers are hungry for help, in particular for ways to manage stress, reduce pain and enhance communication. Around the globe, millions of relatives and friends provide unpaid care and they have a great need for effective strategies they can safely use.
In the process of learning to provide comforting touch, caregivers can tap into a source of potential benefits for themselves, their loved ones and possibly the field of health care. Who knows what kind of revolution millions of empowered caregivers may create?
Barbara Goldschmidt is an author, educator and licensed massage therapist (New York State). She has been active in the field of integrative health care for 30 years. Her passion is to educate people to the power of touch accessible to everyone.
Barbara's interest in working with people with dementia began in 1996, when she was the lead massage therapist in a study at Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn, NY. In 2011 she taught hand massage as an alternative intervention for pain to staff at several nursing homes in New York City through a grant implemented by the Education Fund of 1199 SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
She taught an introduction to comforting touch in the Nursing program at Swedish Institute, a college of health sciences in New York City. In 2012 she created and taught a class for caregivers at the Alzheimer's Association of New York.
Comforting Touch in Dementia and End of Life Care: Take My Hand was written with Niamh van Meines. Ms. van Meines is a nurse practitioner and licensed massage therapist.