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Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2002 May;8(2):101-5.

Introducing abdominal massage in palliative care for the relief of constipation.

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Hospiscare, Exeter, Devon, UK.


Constipation and its associated problems affect approximately 50% of patients admitted to hospices in the United Kingdom. It is common practice in many hospices to offer a range of complementary therapies of which aromatherapy massage is one. Abdominal massage for the relief of constipation was once a commonly practised therapy but its use declined over time, like other complementary therapies there is now a rekindling of interest in the role that abdominal massage may play in relieving constipation. This paper will explain how a safe non-invasive easily learnt technique of abdominal massage was introduced in a palliative care setting to help relieve some of the problems associated with constipation. Despite the number of patients involved in this project being small, relief from some of the symptoms associated with constipation was experienced by some patients. A formal study of the benefits of abdominal massage in palliative care far the relief of constipation is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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