Caring Hands provides massages, healing to Mayo Clinic patients - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Caring Hands provides massages, healing to Mayo Clinic patients


A lot can be said about the power of touch. And that power can extend as far as healing those who are sick.

Now in its sixth year at Mayo Clinic, Caring Hands has given about 6,000 massages to patients this year, alone.

There are currently about 100 Caring Hands volunteers, ages 14 to 98, who work at least one 2-hour shift per week.

Volunteers must go through a training class to learn all skills needed to help.

The goal of the group is to provide comfort and healing, through touch, to patients at Mayo.

One volunteer and one patient on Wednesday afternoon explained the benefits of Caring Hands to those who are ailing.

"This has been a great experience and the best group of people," said Bill Nelson, as he rang the chemo bell at Mayo Clinic on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday was a happy day for Nelson, as he is officially cancer free.

"Cowboys always survive. You get bucked off the horse, you get up and get back on. Go for the ride,” said Nelson.

But that ride battling cancer isn't easy.

"When your life is being threatened, you start to believe there's something more than everyday life out there. This is one of the things. It's a healing touch," said Nelson.

Enter Caring Hands.

"I think that the human touch, somebody touching somebody else. And we are the only volunteer service area that actually touches patients,” said Eileen Pross, the Caring Hands Team Leader at Mayo Clinic.

Pross has been volunteering for Caring Hands for the last five years.

“The minute I start giving them a hand massage, first, they ask if I did this in my other life. And I tell them no and that I just started doing hand massages at Mayo Clinic and that Mayo taught us. And that we're not therapeutic, we're about touch,” said Pross.

Caring Hands volunteers provide patients with hand massages for comfort.

"There's a certain stress level that everyone goes through here, and this helps,” said Nelson.

“It kind of makes you forget a little about what you're going through," added Pross.

"There's a healing touch that really works and I think it's very valuable for patients," Nelson explained.

"We understand that they're stressed and they're worried and we just try to do as much as we can just to relax them for the short time,” Pross said.

Caring Hands helps heal both sides of the spectrum, one massage at a time.

"I think we both get something out of it. The patient gets something out of it, but we as caring hands also get something out of it,” said Pross.

Volunteers are needed for Caring Hands right now.

So, if you are interested in helping out, you can contact Lynn Benrud at 507-284-0239.

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