Patient massage offered at UMHS

Patients at the U-M Health System (UMHS) now can request bedside massages, thanks to the new Massage Therapy Program where nationally certified massage therapists provide a healing touch to inpatients.

Massage sessions are designed to enhance wellness through physical and mental relaxation and reduce pain by alleviating muscle tension.

Program coordinator Tracy King emphasizes the importance of creating a "high touch" healing environment that compliments the current medical treatment at U-M. "Our ultimate goal is to decrease patients suffering and enhance their quality of life," she says.

Nearly 150 inpatients have already benefited from this new program.

"I had headaches and a lot of pain in my back and sides, and the massage therapist helped a lot," says Stacy Sanders of Fenton, Mich., who received massages following his open-heart surgery at the Cardiovascular Center.

"It seems to be very comforting to the patients," says massage therapist Wendy Woerner. "We're able to give them relief from their anxiety, pain and tension. With our care patients receive a warm, nurturing touch."

"Massage can help patients who are recovering from surgery or experiencing aches and pains within their body. In short, any patient in the hospital can universally benefit from massage," says Dr. Steven Bolling, professor of surgery.