A college in East Sussex is offering two innovative courses in therapeutic touch and spiritual care for people working in palliative care. Fiona Sim, course leader and a Registered Nurse working in complementary healthcare and palliative care, explains what they cover.
Emerson College, which is set within 22 acres of botanical gardens, offers two courses of interest to those working in palliative care: Rhythmical Einreibung (Gentle Healing Touch) Foundation Course, and Quietude – Spiritual Care, for those on the journey of death and dying.
Rhythmical Einreibung is a very gentle method of therapeutic touch developed for nurses and carers, useful for everyone working in caring or healing professions. It focusses and strengthens the patient’s powers of self-healing through rhythmical touch, and is used to calm and harmonise the body to provide comfort and relief.
Because of its gentle, calming nature it can be very beneficial for patients who are too sensitive for other hands-on therapies, including those who are at the end of life. In palliative care therapeutic touch can relieve anxiety, and reduce feelings of fear through relaxation; a positive effect on symptoms including pain and shortness of breath can be experienced.
I have used Rhythmical Einreibung for more than 30 years to support clients with a wide range of physical and psychological issues. Having recognised the importance of touch in providing comfort and support to people who are dying, I use Rhythmical Einreibung and ‘M’ Technique (a gentle structured touch technique, created by Dr. Jane Buckle) in the hospice environment with end of life patients who would be too frail for traditional massage.
The inspiration for the Foundation Course came about as a result of positive feedback received from patients, relatives and staff, and a desire to share skills with other nurses and caring professionals.
The programme is delivered over a period of a year, and is designed to allow the participants to practice and develop the skills they are learning over time.
Quietude is a training and development course for people wishing to become ‘Quietude Practitioners’ offering spiritual companionship to those crossing the threshold of death. The course is for those who wish to offer emotional and spiritual support to people who are in need of end of life care.
Led by Annie Blampied-Radojcin an Interfaith Minister and hospice chaplain, the training aims to deepen people’s ability to accompany someone in what can often be a time of crisis, vulnerability and questioning, but also seen as an opportunity for renewal.
A pioneering aspect of this training course is that as well as supporting carers and health care professionals in offering spiritual care before and at death, it also explores what happens after death, and how we can support someone at this stage. It is a path of development for anyone open to the idea of life after death, whatever their faith or doubts.
Held over seven weekends, it is for people already working with or looking to care for patients and relatives coming to terms with death and dying.
For more information visit Emerson College – Courses