Geri Randles, LMT

Articles & Research

Healing, Awareness, Sense of Well-being & Integrative Care



 Annals of Palliative  Medicine. 2017 Jul;6(3):237-247. doi: 10.21037/apm.2017.05.01.Epub 2017 May 22.

Healing, spirituality and integrative medicine

David M Steinhorn 1Jana Din 2Angela Johnson 3


        Spirituality plays a prominent role in the lives of most palliative patients whether or not they formally adhere to a        specific religion and belief. As a result, the palliative care team is frequently called upon to support families who are experiencing their "dark night of the soul" and struggling to make sense of their lives during a healthcare crisis. While conventional religious practices provide a source of comfort and guidance for many of our patients, a significant number of our patients do not have a strong religious community to which to turn. Over the last two decades, more people in Western countries identify themselves as spiritual but not religious and do not belong to an organized faith community. For those patients who express a strong spiritual connection or sense of 'something greater' or 'a higher power', encouraging the exploration of those feelings and beliefs through chaplains, clergypersons, or members of the interdisciplinary palliative care team can help provide context, meaning and purpose in their lives impacted by serious illness. One of the goals of effective palliative care is the facilitation of personal growth and psychological resilience in dealing with one's health challenges. Integrative medicine, also referred to as complementary and alternative medicine, provides a set of tools and philosophies intended to enhance wellness and a sense of wellbeing. Many of the modalities are derived from disciplines such as massage, acupuncture, Rei Ki, aromatherapy, and dietary supplements. The use of integrative medicine in North America is widespread and frequently not shared with one's clinician due to many patients' concerns that clinicians will disapprove of the patient's use of them. In addition to its efficacy in reducing symptoms commonly experienced by patients receiving palliative care (e.g., nausea, pain, depression, and existential suffering), integrative medicine offers non-verbal, non-cognitive avenues for many to achieve a peaceful and calm inner state. The calm state often achieved during integrative medicine treatments is similar to that seen during deep prayer or meditation. In such a transcendent or non-ordinary state of consciousness, many people experience new insights or understanding of their lives and choices they must make. Thus, integrative approaches facilitate patients attaining greater self-awareness and may meet their spiritual needs without the religious overtones that accompany traditional prayer. In so doing, patients may gain greater insight and find inner peace through simple, non-verbal approaches.

Keywords: Suffering; acupuncture; complementary medicine; shamanism; spiritual healing.



Palliative Care & Massage Therapy

          The use of massage therapy for reducing pain, anxiety, and depression in oncological palliative care patients:

          a narrative review of the literature

Maria Falkensteiner 1Franco MantovanIrene MüllerChrista Them   



Injury, Pain and Soreness & Massage Therapy


Cheng YH, Huang GC. Efficacy of Massage Therapy on Pain and Dysfunction in Patients with Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014: 204360. Published online Feb 20, 2014. doi:  10.1155/2014/204360. Free Full-text article at


Ernst E. Does post-exercise massage treatment reduce delayed onset muscle soreness? A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 32(3): 212-14, Sept. 1998. Free full-text article at


Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E. Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD001929. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub2 – See more at:


Kong LJ, Zhan HS, Cheng YW, Yuan WA, Chen B, Fang M. Massage therapy for neck and shoulder pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 613279. Published online Feb 28, 2013. doi:  10.1155/2013/613279. Free full-text article at


Cancer & Massage Therapy


Lee SH, Kim JY, Yeo S, Kim SH, Lim S. Meta-analysis of massage therapy on cancer pain. Integr Cancer Ther. 2015 Jul;14(4):297-304. doi: 10.1177/1534735415572885. Epub 2015 Mar 17. Abstract at


Pan YQ, Yang KH, Wang YL, Zhang LP, Liang HQ. Massage interventions and treatment-related side effects of breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Clin Oncol. 2014 Oct;19(5):829-41. doi: 10.1007/s10147-013-0635-5. Epub 2013 Nov 26. Abstract at


Wilkinson S. Barnes K. Storey L. Massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer: systematic review. J Adv Nurs. 2008 Sep;63(5):430-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04712.x. Abstract at


Immune System & Massage Therapy (Breast Cancer, HIV/AIDS)

Clinical Trial ~ International journal of  Neuroscience. 2005 Apr;115(4):495-510. doi: 10.1080/00207450590523080.

Natural killer cells and lymphocytes increase in women with breast cancer following massage therapy

Maria Hernandez-Reif 1Tiffany FieldGail IronsonJulia BeutlerYanexy VeraJudith HurleyMary Ann FletcherSaul SchanbergCynthia KuhnMonica Fraser


Hillier SL, Louw Q, Morris L, Uwimana J, Statham S. Massage therapy for people with HIV/AIDS. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD007502. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007502.pub2.


Tejero-Fernandez V, Membrilla-Mesa M, Galiano-Castillo N, Arroyo-Morales M. Immunological effects of massage after exercise: A systematic review. Phys Ther Sport 2014 Jul 21. pii: S1466-853X(14)00062-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2014.07.001. [Epub ahead of print]. Abstract at


Mood, Emotions, Depression & Massage Therapy


Coelho HF, Boddy K, Ernst E. Massage therapy for the treatment of depression: a systematic review. Int J Clin Pract. 2008 Feb;62(2):325-33. Epub 2007 Dec 11. Abstract at:


Hou WH, Chiang PT, Hsu TY, Chiu SY, Yen YC. Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):894-901. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09r05009blu. Epub 2010 Mar 23. Abstract at


Moyer CA, Rounds J, Hannum J. A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychol Bull. 2004 Jan; 130(1):3-18. Abstract at


Respiratory, Asthma & Massage Therapy


Hondras MA, Linde K, Jones AP. Manual therapy for asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001002. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001002.pub2 – See more at:


Dementia & Massage Therapy


Hansen NV, Jørgensen T, Ørtenblad L. Massage and touch for dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD004989. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004989.pub2 – See more at:


Fibromyalgia & Massage Therapy 


Li YH, Wang FY, Feng CQ, Yang XF, Sun YH. Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2): e89304. Published online Feb 20, 2014. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0089304 (Free full-text article.)