Seniors can benefit greatly from massage therapy. So many seniors suffer from physical challenges from stiffness to circulation issues as well as mobility and flexibility issues. Seniors can also benefit emotionally from massage therapy especially those who live in isolation and do not have the benefit of family and friends in their lives.
Health Benefits of Senior Massage
Circulation plays a key role in seniors massage as it provides the much needed stimulation to encourage both blood and lymph circulation. Improved circulation also means improved heart health which can lower blood pressure and reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack. Inflamed joints are very common in seniors who may suffer from conditions such as arthritis. The increased circulation of lymph fluid will in turn help ease joint pain as debris and products of inflammation are removed. Seniors also tend to have a lower defence against illnesses such as colds and flu and massage therapy will help boost their immune systems through therapeutic touch. Muscle stiffness can keep seniors from doing the activities they enjoy as well as from participating in social events. Regular massage therapy can help relieve tense muscles and keep seniors comfortable and better able to participate in everyday life. Being more flexible will also help seniors avoid injury.
Emotional Benefits of Senior Massage
Many seniors live in seclusion and lack much needed human contact. Massage can aid in providing them with human contact as well as to offer them a kind and caring touch to help their state of mind. As with any patients as massage releases endorphins seniors suffering from anxiety and depression will feel a sense of well-being and when applied regularly will be able to overcome some of the more pronounced negative feelings brought on by depression. Massage therapy has also been shown to improve symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, especially feelings of anxiousness and agitation.
It is very difficult for seniors to take on the burden of keeping themselves limber as many are fearful of injury. Working with a massage therapist to help them remain limber and provide the gentle stretches that will keep them flexible and improve range of motion will also give them physical strength which will give them the confidence to remain active. Massage therapy also helps seniors stay more in tune with their bodies and be more aware of how to move. Balance, agility and movement all improve when seniors undergo massage on a regular basis which means they are more coordinated and less likely to take a fall. This in turn helps provide seniors with an improved attitude that will leave them more open to participating in social activities without fear of injury.
As an RMT you will be able to improve the quality of life for seniors from your own practice, visiting seniors’ residences or within a long term care facility.