Massage therapy for seniors, commonly referred to as geriatric massage, is increasingly becoming popular along with the rise in number of ageing baby boomers. This style of massage serves as an excellent alternative for seniors who are looking to resolve a physical problem without adding to their already long list of daily medication.
Massage techniques used with seniors doesn't differ a lot from traditional massage with the exception of a few considerations. Geriatric massage must accommodate an elderly body with kind, loving care. A trained geriatric masseuse will make sure the senior's body is positioned carefully on the table and will make sure to position the senior comfortably. Mobility is often an issue for the senior. For example, they may have walking difficulties and may use a wheelchair. An experienced geriatric masseuse will adapt the massage to the seniors needs, administering the massage to the client in the chair.
Hands and feet are often a focus of massage when working on a senior. This is especially true if the senior doesn't have full use of them. Hand and foot massage increases blood circulation in certain parts of an aging body and also increases the senior's body awareness.
Symptoms of the following conditions (often experienced by seniors) are alleviated with massage:
There are a number of varied benefits to seniors undergoing geriatric massage therapy.
With age comes decreased mobility, and as a result many seniors suffer the effects of arthritis and joint pain. Using various massage techniques, the practitioner can stimulate blood flow to the muscles and consequently improve overall mobility. Specific nerve centres may be stimulated using acupressure in massage, or mobility may be increased using the long, heavy strokes of Swedish massage instead.
Poor circulation is common amongst seniors, often due to disease states such as diabetes or other chronic conditions that come with age. Amputation of extremities that may need to be undertaken with some seniors due to poor circulation can be avoided completed with regular massage.
The ageing process brings with it a decreased ability to heal, particularly after surgery. Massage can again help seniors get their mobility back and help increase circulation. However, it is advisable to always check with your doctor to determine if massage is safe post surgery.
Many seniors in today's society are isolated, and as a result become lonely and depressed. The benefits of human touch provided by massage are priceless for some, and also provides the senior with a time to simply enjoy another human beings company. Recent scientific research has shown that seniors undergoing regular massage therapy showed a dramatic improvement in their overall mood and attitudes towards life. Other benefits recorded by the study include reduced anxiety, improved posture, and healthier looking skin and muscle tone.
Lastly, geriatric massage provides a profound sense of well-being to the senior that in turn helps to keep active and motivated to look after their health.