Massage therapy provides healing to young patients

Published: Oct. 10, 2018 at 9:27 AM CDT
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Omaha's Children's Hospital and Medical Center is doing something

only five other hospitals in the country are doing. And - it's something many of us already do to pamper ourselves.

As Serese Cole reports- massage therapy is providing healing to some of the city's youngest patients.

Every week, twice a week, you'll find Beverly Riley - walking the halls - at Children's Hospital and Medical Center with her massage table.

Her clients - some of the smallest and most vulnerable at Children's.

"The children I see have so many complex medial issues," said Riley.

Like Kash.

Kash has been in and out of the hospital his whole life.

He was born with half a heart, needs three surgeries and is also on oxygen,

Today, Beverly is giving him his first massage.

It's a lot different from the needles and IV's he's used to.

"It's also good to show the child a caring touch. A loving touch and a healing touch," Riley said.

But it's not just a massage, it's therapy.

"I can decrease swelling, I can improve circulation, I can lower heart rate when they're having - a lot of anxiety," Riley explained.

"Beverly just doesn't massage the kids, she also gives massages to their parents. Turns out - they benefit from her healing hands, too," Serese Cole said.

Kash's mom Lacey never leaves his side.

"It's hard to watch him lay here. Especially when they're in pain," she shared.

So this, helps.

Fifteen minutes of peace in a place where there's anything but.

"Because we all know as a parent, if you're stressed out - your baby gets stress out," Riley added.

Just one more reason Beverly believes in the power of positive touch.

Dr. Meaghann Weaver, Division Chief of Pediatric Palliative Care, researched the affects of massage therapy at Children's Hospital and Medical Center. She found kids who received massage had less pain, required less pain medication and had an increase in comfort.