Most of us enjoy a massage to help us ease our tension and soothe away aches and pains. Elderly people can really benefit from regular massage, as it’s such an enjoyable and relaxing, non-invasive way to help manage the inevitable symptoms that go hand in hand with getting older. There’s no doubt that a regular massage has the potential to help improve your quality of life, and this applies to elderly people too.
The effects of massage on older people
The positive effects of massage on the health of elderly people are well documented by research. It’s been proven that the gentlest of massages can benefit the circulation and nervous system, so if a gentle touch is required for more frail customers, it will still work just as well as a powerful sports massage would for an athlete.
Geriatric gentle massage is known to help stimulate the circulation naturally and without causing any discomfort, so many older people are happy to give themselves over to the hands of an expert massage therapist when they are feeling tense and in need of healing touch.
One important benefit of massage is that it doesn’t have any side effects and won’t interact with medicines that the elderly person is taking for conditions that often affect them (diabetes, depression, Parkinson’s, dementia and other common conditions.) In some cases, physicians have been able to reduce regular medications because of regular massage sessions.
Helping counteract the signs of old age
Elderly people often suffer from symptoms caused by conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This can often leave them with limited mobility and poor circulation. On top of this, many elderly people can report feeling depressed or even lonely.
Geriatric massage can help boost their physical health, but also relieve the depression that sometimes goes with it. It also gives older people access to comforting touch. There is even evidence that degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s have responded to regular half hour massages.
Massage in elderly people can:
How is a geriatric massage different?
Geriatric massage uses some of the same techniques you’ll find in general massage, but tailored to the specific needs of elderly people.
Massage is a lovely therapy that can be enjoyed by people of all ages – if you know someone who would benefit from massage, but thinks it’s not for them because they are ‘too old’ – treat them to a session and see if you can put the smile back on their face.
Are you the type of person who puts off getting a massage? You think that because nothing actually hurts, you don’t need to worry about it? Many people think the same way and then end up at the massage clinic feeling sorry for themselves with a painful back or an injury.
Massage is wonderful if you do have an injury or are already in pain, but why wait until there’s something wrong before you take action? Massage can be part of your preventative therapy, a way to stop aches and pains from developing into anything more serious.
Keep on keeping on.
If you, like most of us, have to work for a living, looking after your back and your musculoskeletal system will save you and your employer a lot of stress and money in the future. It’s frightening, but did you know that according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, a staggering thirty-one million Americans say that they are dealing with the symptoms of low back pain at any one time, costing over $50 million dollars in conventional medical treatments, worker’s compensation, and absence from work?
Why risk it when a study that was carried out in 2011 proved that having regular lower back massages helped to relieve the pain before it got to the stage where it needed medication or taking time off from work?
Stress busting massage
Another cause of time off work is stress and/or anxiety, so you’ll be pleased to hear that a regular massage session can help you beat the build-up of stress and keep you calmer for longer. It’s well known that many conditions are either brought on or made worse by stress. Booking time out for regular massage therapy helps to lower your body’s cortisol levels and increase happy hormones serotonin and dopamine. It really puts you in a better mood. On top of this, it’s also thought that because a deep pressure or Swedish massage in particular help to get your lymph fluid moving, this type of massage can help boost your immunity. This means less coughs, colds and illnesses, which is all good.
Beat the pain of inactivity
I know, most of us can’t help it, but the average American sits still for eight or nine hours every single day. If your job means that you have no choice but to sit at a wheel or desk, it will pull your shoulders forward and cause them to become rounded. This has the effect of weakening your upper and lower back muscles, which is why you’ll be feeling that pain in your upper body.
If you can manage to get up and about regularly to do some exercise, and team this with a regular massage, your posture will thank you for it and you should reduce any pain you feel from sitting still for so long during working hours.
Have I convinced you to make a massage part of your regular routine? Of course, it’s not all about preventing illness or relieving pain, having a massage is a comforting and beneficial therapy in itself, and many people book their regular massage therapy sessions just because they know they will spring off the massage table with a smile on their face, feeling amazing.
Massage Therapist specializing in Therapeutic, Oncology, and Geriatric massage.