While massage has a number of benefits for people a variety of ages, there are clear benefits for those who are older, also called geriatric massage. This type of treatment has a number of benefits for many seniors, regardless of how active they are. Learn more about the benefits of geriatric massage and why it’s so important.
What Are the Advantages of Geriatric Massage?
Regularly scheduling sessions can combat the effects of getting older and:
- Improve quality of life
- Offer more mobility
- Ease joint and muscle pain
- Improve blood circulation
- Improve mental health
- Improve sleeping patterns
- Increase range of motion
- Reduce stress
The best part about these benefits is that massage is completely natural. Unlike medicines used to provide similar benefits, massage can improve quality of life without any side-effects. Plus, massage is an accessible treatment for most, including those who are getting older and suffering from:
Geriatric people suffering from arthritis may find it harder to move without feeling pain. Massage can loosen joints and relieve pain caused by arthritis. It can also restore grip strength and the ability to move.
Regular massage can actually help make insulin more effective, as increased blood flow allows it to travel through your body better. Massage can also alleviate any pain and swelling that diabetes causes. However, those seeking treatment must be careful and let their massage therapist know about their condition in order to make sure their blood sugar stays at a safe level.
Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Studies have found that a slow-stroke back massage can lessen agitated actions, such as wandering, pacing, or resisting, behaviors caused by Alzheimer’s disease. While it does not reverse the symptoms of dementia, it can still relieve stress and build a connection with people.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Touch
Besides the health benefits of massage, there is an emotional benefit too. Some geriatric people do not have the opportunity to get the support they need, and massage is a powerful force for emotional support, too. For those who don’t often have opportunities to experience physical touch, it’s a perfect way to add to that experience and stimulate their senses.
Why Is Massage Therapy So Important for Seniors?
Regardless of whether or not someone is suffering from the aches and pains of getting older, massage may still be right for them. Massage for seniors is so important because of the changes that happen to our bodies as we age. For those over 60 specifically:
Their Bodies Takes More Time to Heal
When you’re younger, it’s much easier to heal after scrapes, bruises, pulled muscles, and more. However, as you get older, your body becomes much more fragile, as many of your body’s processes start to slow down. While massage can help increase blood flow and encourage your body to keep moving, in the case of injuries or pulled muscles, it may take longer to get back to normal.
They Are More Prone to Aches and Pains
This is a simple fact of life. As you get older, your body is unable to move as well as it once could, even if you are leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Older people are also more at risk to conditions such as osteoarthritis, a condition where your bones wear down, often near joints, causing pain and making it harder to move.
What Makes Geriatric Massage Different Than Other Types of Massage?
While many types of massage provide the same benefits that geriatric massage does, it’s important to get the correct certification to be able to provide this type of service to older clients. The techniques used may be a gentler form of pressure or it may be different techniques designed to alleviate aging aching pains.
Geriatric massage techniques better address health issues suffered by those over 60 and also lessen the risk of pain from pushing too hard. The sessions are also usually shorter and may be done at home in a chair or couch rather than a table.
Want to Provide Geriatric Massage Support?
If you’re interested in learning how you can provide the power of touch to geriatric people or others who need it, learn more about our massage therapy programs. While you may need extra certification in order to provide services for geriatric patients, an education in massage therapy is a good place to start. Schedule a tour at one of our two locations today to get started!