This study was done to investigate a nonpharmacological means of relaxation with 30 hospice clients. The purpose was to examine the effects of slow stroke back massage (SSBM) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature. SSBM was associated with decreases in systolic BP, diastolic BP, and heart rate and with an increase in skin temperature. SSBM was shown to produce modest clinical, but statistically significant changes in vital signs which were indicative of relaxation. It is a cost-effective treatment which adds to the comfort of hospice clients.