Head and neck massage accompanied by handpan and meditation


Proposer: UMC Amsterdam
Implementation: September 2018

Project description

Within the context of "look good, feel better", patients with haematological malignancies receive a head and neck massage accompanied by handpan at the Amsterdam University Medical Center. The massage session lasts 45 minutes and is accompanied by meditative music played on the Handpan or Hang. The live music accompaniment is tailored to the patient, and changes with each session. This puts patients into a different mood, leaving space for inward reflection, processing, relaxation and emotions.


Patients consider the sessions to be special. In particular, they indicate that they can relax better, and escape the hospital atmosphere. They see these rest phases as necessary during treatment, for coping with what they are experiencing through their illness.

Patient responses have been: being able to hold on to relaxation following the session, resulting in experiencing unpleasant examinations differently, sessions assist coping with problems, being able to deal with problems and sessions having developed a different perspective towards certain problems.

Impact on the healthcare professional

The sessions are conducted by trained masseurs/musicians. The healthcare professional within the hospital needs only point out this project to patients, or tell them about it.

The healthcare professionals are pleased that they can offer this service.

Impact on the healthcare institution

The hospital offers haematology patients a unique service. This project is having a very positive impact on how the hospital is used and perceived by patients and their loved ones.


Hematologie Amsterdam UMC locatie VUmc

Project contact person:
Jacco Besteman (nurse)

Other project team members:
Reiny Metz (beauty specialist)