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Massage Therapy for Seniors

Benefit of Geriatric Massage Therapy

Benefits of massage therapy for seniors and the elderly.

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With regular massage, seniors can experience an improved quality of life, increased energy levels and feel younger and healthier overall. Massage therapy offers numerous benefits to the entire body. It helps ease joint and muscle pain, and can even reduce the increased levels of stress that tend to come with aging.

Geriatric massage therapy is designed to address the specific needs of the elderly population. This type of massage for the elderly uses gentle and light application of massage techniques and can include passive stretching and a light oil or lotion to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. These techniques can help enhance blood circulation, combat depression, improve balance and flexibility, reduce the pain of arthritis, increase joint mobility, improve posture, and encourage overall well-being.

Geriatric massage can be especially helpful for maintaining and improving overall health as we age. It also has been shown to relieve anxiety and provide comfort, especially to touch-deprived elderly clients.

The techniques used differ greatly from those used with younger individuals. While similar in technique to other forms of massage, senior massage considers the special needs of their needs.

Mobility challenges may sometimes dictate the massage be done in a bed or wheelchair. The massage therapist may also work both sides of the body at the same time to enhance body awareness, or only work hands and feet, if the client prefers.

A senior massage therapist that is licensed is aware of health issues associated with aging and how to safely work with this type of client and with associated physicians. Consequently, they are able to individualize the massage service based on the client's health, mobility, and comfort level.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors

Massage offers many benefits to seniors. More than just a feel good experience, massage provides the following benefits:

  • Sciatica pain relief
  • Increased circulation, mobility, and sleep
  • Relief from muscular tension, soreness, and fatigue
  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and pain through increased relaxation
  • Improved concentration, balance, posture, and motor skills
  • Stimulation of digestion and improved elimination
  • Enhanced lymph flow
  • Restored range of motion and flexibility
  • Help for diabetics, Parkinson's, neuropathy
  • Helps to reduce muscle inflammation after exercise
  • Pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Low back pain relief
  • Improved pain and quality of life for clients with fibromyalgia

A specialty trained senior massage therapist knows about safely positioning for greatest comfort and will often have the client rest in the same position for the entire massage.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork has been at the forefront of the promotion of massage for the elderly for many years. The board promotes massage as a treatment for the management and prevention of age-related diseases and views it as a good alternative to less natural pharmaceutical treatments. With regular massage, the quality of life is greatly increased, allowing the older patients to feel younger, healthier, and balanced.

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