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The Power of Touch

As a caregiver, social worker, reflexologist and essential oil practitioner my focus has been on the healing aspects of care giving; the ability to take someone who is in mental, emotional and sometimes physical anguish and bring them back to a balanced focus.

I was asked to do an overnight shift for John, an 89 year old with Alzheimers Disease. John was a pioneer in the film industry. They had a lovely, spacious home in the foothills of Northern California near their daughter, Lillian. The pictures on the wall showed me a vibrant, savvy businessman who was well respected in Hollywood. I saw glimpses of his stature even now. His closeness and devotion to his wife even in his present condition was impressive. He constantly wanted her by his side, declaring his love. His wife, Eleanor, an elegant woman, had a great deal of trouble getting him to sleep through the night as he was scared to be alone without her there with him constantly. I could see just how tired and exhausted she was as his days and nights were confused.

When I arrived in the late afternoon I thought the best thing to do was to get him to relax, as he appeared agitated, uncertain and scared due to his circumstances. I immediately gave him a hand and foot rub, slowly and lovingly administered with essential oils. The change in him was phenomenal. It was as if he was brought back to life. I could tell the routine had been to sit in front of the television not allowing for any mental stimulation. He thought about it for a moment and preferred to sit at the kitchen table and talk with me. He was alert and coherent. He talked about what he liked to read, his interests and how much he enjoyed being a pillar of the community. It made me wish he were well enough to be able to reveal more. When it came time for bed I calmed his fears, cradled his head and he fell asleep and slept soundly all night. Eleanor said that was the first good sleep she had had in months. It reaffirmed my belief that people need to feel connected whether through physical touch, that can cut through barriers, or by having someone listen and reaffirm ones value and worth. The sense of satisfaction for all of us was plain to see. It was truly a wonderful, unforgettable experience.

Lynn Kwitt Lynn Kwitt is originally from New York State. She is a BSW RMT CWC CR. As a caregiver she often uses essential oils in her day to day practices. You can get more information on her Web site at: http://www.wholisticapproaches.com/

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