As we age, our bodies naturally begin to experience stiffness and pain. These physical complications can make it difficult to enjoy our lives to the fullest. However, with geriatric massage, some aches and pains can be minimized.
For the sake of this blog, we’ll use the Merck Manual’s explanation of what “geriatric” means. They note that most people do not need geriatric care until the age of 70 or 75. When we say “geriatric” throughout this blog, that’s who we are referring to.
How Geriatric Massage Improves Health and Wellness
1. Better Circulation
Age is a serious factor that causes blood vessels to lose their elasticity, which then causes poor circulation. Symptoms include:
- Numbness in extremities
- Cold hands, feet, legs and ears
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps and headaches
Massage therapy promotes blood circulation throughout the entire body and helps to alleviate the above symptoms.
2. Improves Balance
Falls are among the top causes of injuries of elderly Americans. This makes falling a serious threat to safety and independence.
A 2012 study from the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork determined that older people who received regular massage for six weeks saw immediate and long-term improvements in their balance.
3. Relieves Bodily Pain
There are numerous causes of bodily pain as we age, some of the most common being:
- General joint and muscle stiffness
- Nerve inflammation
4. Reduced Effects of Anxiety and Depression
There is a strong likelihood that people with physical health ailments also deal with psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression. That means these conditions are not necessarily normal parts of getting older that people must simply deal with. They’re treatable.
In addition to making chronic, physical conditions more manageable, massage therapy releases brain chemicals and bodily hormones that combat anxiety and depression.
5. Longer, more Restful Sleep
The American Massage Therapy Association has compiled extensive evidence that massage therapy improves sleep in people who suffer from a wide range of chronic conditions.
After retirement, it’s important for people to find ways to keep busy. Attending a weekly massage session is a great way for the elderly to get out and make sure they’re interacting with others. The licensed massage therapists at Elements RVC are glad to have conversations with clients during massage sessions, too!
The Elements Wellness Program offers a monthly massage at a discounted rate (among other perks), which gives all members something to look forward to while also improving their overall well-being! Learn more about the program here.
Common Contraindications for Elderly Massage
A contraindication is a reason that someone cannot get a massage. Some health issues may be worsened, not helped, by massage therapy.
Common massage contraindications include:
- Severe blood vessel inflammation
- Swelling and edema
- Open sores or wounds
- Recent heart attack or stroke
- Extremely high blood pressure
It’s recommended that anyone considering geriatric massage consult with their healthcare provider first.
For most elderly people, massage therapy is a great way to improve overall health and wellness. Always be sure to specify your interest in geriatric massage when scheduling an appointment at Elements RVC!
Disclaimer: Elements of Rockville Centre is not an organization of healthcare professionals. All authoritative claims in this blog have been linked to their sources.e