Volunteers Provide Comfort Therapies

Volunteers are a vital to the comfort and compassionate care that Mesilla Valley Hospice is able to provide. One way our volunteers do this is through comfort therapies. Here are comfort therapies currently offered to patients of Mesilla Valley Hospice.


Massage can reduce stress, soothe tense, sore muscles, and impart an overall sense of relaxa-tion and contentment, as well as give the simple pleasure of gentle, comforting human touch. Our massage therapist is specially trained to provide gen-tle, non-invasive massage more suited for hospice patients. Gentle massage can be done at the bedside or in a chair and most times it is not necessary for the patient to disrobe.


Reiki is a Japanese therapy that reduces pain, anxiety, agitation, shortness of breath and nausea, and creates a feeling of well-being. It is extremely gentle and deeply relaxing. Our reiki therapists have been trained to deal with the unique needs of hospice patients. A patient does not disrobe and therapy is given while a patient is in bed or a chair.

Comfort Touch

Comfort Touch is a style of therapy that gives special consideration to the physical and emo-tional needs of the elderly and/or ill client. Its primary intention is to provide comfort through techniques that promote deep relaxation and relief from pain. Like a cross between reiki and massage, comfort touch can be applied wherever a patient is, bed or chair, and does not require the patient to disrobe.


The benefits to hospice patients from pet therapy include enhanced socialization, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased comfort. Many times a pet can reach a patient who is otherwise non-responsive. Our pet therapists and their pets are screened and specially trained to work with hospice patients.

If you would like to request one or more of these therapies , either let your hospice nurse or social worker know, or contact Catharine Walkinshaw, Volunteer Coordinator at 575-523-4700. Our comfort therapists are dedicated volunteers, thoroughly screened and trained for hospice work. Once a request has been made, the therapist will contact you to schedule a visit. Visits can be made to private homes as well as facilities.

Note: The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care has published several articles supporting the use of these therapies and citing studies showing they can improve the quality of experience for hospice and palliative care patients.