Kristin Wicking, a lecturer in Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition at JCU, was recently awarded a Mentgen/Brandreth scholarship from the Australian Foundation of Healing Touch to conduct the study.
“Each week for seven weeks, a specially trained Registered Nurse will come to their home with a portable massage table to pamper them with a Healing Touch session for about an hour,” Ms Wicking said.
Ms Wicking said Healing Touch used gentle touch to strengthen and balance the energy system, similar to other complementary therapies such as acupressure, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki.
“It is based on similar energy principles as self-care practices like Tai Chi and yoga,” she said.
“It is gentler than massage and the service is provided at no cost to the women, in the convenience of their own homes, without any need for them to undress.”
Mrs Wicking said Healing Touch was proven to be pleasant and relaxing, but this new study would determine if it also helped keep older women independent in their own homes.
“The rapid rise in the population of older adults and the costs associated with long-term residential care mean we need to re-double our efforts to find safe and effective ways to support older adults to remain healthy enough to continue to manage on their own at home.”
“The most gratifying aspect of the study is being able to do something positive and supportive for a generation of women who have worked tirelessly for decades to care for their families and communities.
“Now it’s their turn for some pampering and nurturing for themselves.”
There are currently 53 places still available, so women over 65 who live on their own are welcome to contact Ms Wicking on 4781 5353.