When I massaged my seventy-three year old father’s feet he said, “I need this everyday for the rest of my life!” Seniors everywhere can benefit greatly from Geriatric Massage Therapy. The upsides to seniors getting massage are endless but below are many of the more commonly known and observed benefits.
1. Increased circulation of Blood and Lymph. Massage already has the wonderful benefit of increasing the circulation of blood and lymph on a regular person, imagine how it can help a senior who may be less active or physically limited.
2. Stronger Immune System. Massage has been shown to improve and strengthen the immune system. Many seniors can be vulnerable due to weaker immune systems and therapeutic touch has been shown to be very effective.
3. Muscle Stiffness. As you age, the muscles become stiffer and need to constantly be stretched out. Massage helps with stiffness and painful conditions due to aging. Keeping muscles more limber helps to prevent injury
4. Less Inflammation in Joints. Massage helps to reduce the inflammation in joints due to the increased circulation of lymph. Lymph fluid carries away the products of inflammation and other toxic debris out of the body.
5. Reduces Anxiety and Depression. Seniors respond very well to massage as it helps to fulfill the need for caring human touch. Getting massage on a regular basis can greatly reduce and get symptoms of anxiety and depression under control.
6. Improved Range of Motion. Seniors can improve their range of motion when getting massage that incorporates passive stretching and range of motion. The passive movements help seniors to get a better stretch than they can get on their own.
7. Better Attitude. There’s nothing like healing touch to perk up someone that needs a little lift. Seniors who get massage on a regular basis have a better outlook on life than those who have no physical contact with others.
8. Improved Alzheimer’s and Dementia Symptoms. Therapeutic massage has been shown to improve symptoms of both Alzheimer’s and Dementia by reducing agitation and quieting some the symptoms related to both.
9. Greatly Improved Balance and Agility. Therapeutic massage helps to bring awareness to the body of the elderly helping to improve balance, coordination and agility.
10. Controls Blood Pressure and Heart Rate. Since massage helps to lower blood pressure through accessing the Autonomic Nervous System, It’s a great alternate way to control the heart rate. Regular massage helps with this by reducing stress levels in seniors.
Seniors love to be touched and many are starved for regular caring touch. If you’ve ever considered giving geriatric massage, I can tell you that you’ll have a very enthusiastic audience. Anyone still in massage school should consider giving senior massages as a wonderful and rewarding student project. Also, this would be a very special and unique area of focus for someone to practice in.
Tags:10 Ways a Massage Helps the Elderly