By Mei Kuan
Therapeutic Touch Services, a private practice at Silibin that offers massage as complementary therapy, initiated a Touch of Kindness – Pay It Forward (PIF) programme in Ipoh beginning March 28.
Ipoh Echo spoke to complementary therapist cum proprietor of Therapeutic Touch Services, Chandrika Puventhran to learn more.
“My husband graciously provided me space above his clinic to run my massage practice and encouraged me to pursue my intentions in providing a low-cost massage programme for people living with cancer and caregivers who cannot afford it. Both of us have lost loved ones to cancer and know firsthand what comfort can be in terms of tactile response. This is one way to integrate and collaborate care with current treatments received and for anyone who needs emotional support,” the amiable Ipoh girl explained.
Chandrika was inspired by a similar effort of a fellow senior oncology massage therapist from Boston, Megan Belanger, who paved the way seven years ago to aid those who cannot afford massage therapy as complementary support.
According to her, the targeted groups are those who cannot afford the therapy at its full rate: “They can be both patients, survivors and caregivers. I wish to extend this programme to anyone in need, other than cancer or in palliative care, who feel that therapeutic touch can make a difference to their pain, either physical or emotional. Upon assessment of eligibility, I will include them in the PIF programme and do my best to support them.”
With 12 years of experience under her belt, she has worked with more than 3,000 patients and has performed more than 7,000 massages.
Her journey included seven years of palliative experience under the Perak Palliative Care Society followed by an independent practice at the Academy of Phytobiophysics in Ipoh Garden before relocating her practice to Silibin in March where her PIF programme kicked off.
Under this initiative, massage therapy is made affordable at just RM30 per session.
“A subsidiary of RM40 will be topped up from the fund pool each session, totaling the cost at RM70. The normal cost per session is RM150. I am pleased to add that gracious donors have made 40 sessions possible for the time being,” she shared, adding that sessions will be provided based on individual needs and availability of funds in the pool.
Do take note that all sessions are held every Monday and Friday based on confirmed appointments only (no walk-ins).
Chandrika defined therapeutic touch as an integrated massage therapy modified according to the needs of the patient / client / caregiver.
“It will largely benefit not only physical and emotional pain but also lymphatic health. Due to skin technique methods and pressure modifications at superficial levels, the results will be analgesic and rejuvenating. For the need of overcoming anxiety and stress, it is a great inclusion for stroke, dementia, MND, Parkinson, geriatrics, insomnia etc,” she highlighted.
When asked about her observation on the public perception on complementary therapy, she expressed: “The word ‘complementary’ means working along or being supportive of any treatment per se. Due to this, perhaps therapeutic services are seen as elective and its ability in making a difference for those in need goes unnoticed, sadly. Only those who have benefitted from this therapy during crucial moments or journeys will value the tactile human interactions that are sometimes beyond medicine.”
“The recognition, publicity and reference from the experts (Drs) will increase the public awareness on benefits of these complementary therapies,” she added.
Having received positive feedback from many for the PIF programme, Chandrika is optimistic about the wheels turning towards the right direction with adequate awareness.
“Donations at any amount will certainly help keep the program forward. As for volunteers, anyone helping to volunteer information on this service is gratefully welcome. Interested massage therapists who wish to shadow may contact me,” she added.
Chandrika can be reached at 010-4678250.
Therapeutic Touch Services is located at 373A, Jalan Silibin, Taman Saz, 30100 Ipoh (above Sri Selva Skin Clinic).