Geriatric massage is massage therapy for people over the age of 65. This type of massage considers the many factors that influence an aging body, such as overall health, medical conditions, and medication use.
What is geriatric massage?
Geriatric massage therapy is a type of massage that helps improve older adults’ overall health and well-being.
The massage techniques utilized for seniors include lighter, gentle stroking and kneading and applying pressure to specific points on the body.
Studies revealed that even the most gentle massage has proven effects on the nervous system and blood circulation, two of the most vulnerable systems of the body that feel the effects of aging the most.
Let’s look at the five great benefits of geriatric massage
1. Improves Blood Circulation
Massage therapy for seniors can help improve blood circulation by stimulating the muscles and tissues. This therapeutic massage can help to increase blood flow and oxygenation to the cells, which can help with pain relief and stiffness.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
Geriatric patients often suffer from stress and anxiety due to their declining health. Massage can help to reduce these levels by promoting mental and physical relaxation, as well as improving mood.
3. It helps with joint and muscle pain
Joint and muscle pain is a common problem for older adults. Massage sessions can offer pain relief by reducing joint pain and muscle tension, thereby improving the range of motion and flexibility.
4. Improves sleep quality
Poor sleep is a common problem for older adults. Geriatric massage therapy can help to improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the body.
5. Boosts immune system function
The immune system declines with age-related conditions, making older adults more susceptible to illness and infection. Massage therapy can help to boost immune system function by reducing stress levels and improving circulation.
As we age, our bodies go through many changes. Massage therapy for seniors can be a great way to address issues that may arise, such as stiffness, soreness, and poor circulation.
How Geriatric Massage Can Comfort Seniors
The best benefits geriatric massage provide are the much-needed human touch and interaction for elderly clients who often feel isolated and alone.
Many older adults have infrequent positive physical contact with others. An isolated elderly, such as one who lives alone or under quarantine due to Covid protocols, can especially benefit from a good, long senior massage or a foot massage.
With the slew of benefits that touch therapy in a senior massage provides, a certified geriatric massage therapist can meet this need for you or a loved one.
A massage’s physical contact can help reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleep quality, and boost the immune system.
Massage can also help to reduce pain, improve circulation, and increase range of motion and flexibility.
Geriatric Massage Therapy Characteristics
Geriatric massage uses some of the same basic massage techniques as other modalities. It is, however, tailored to the specific health conditions and needs of the elderly population.
Geriatric Massage has the following characteristics:
A geriatric massage session lasts no longer than 30 minutes, as a more extended session may be too much for an elderly client.
Light to moderate pressure
The pressure during a geriatric massage is usually light to moderate, as older adults often easily have sensitive skin and bruises.
The strokes used during a geriatric massage are usually slow and gentle, as an elderly client may have fragile bones and joints.
Massaging of the Hands and Feet
The massage therapist may also simultaneously work both sides of the body to enhance body awareness, or only work hands and feet if the client prefers. Sometimes, elderly patients relax and use full-body massage mats to make them feel more comfortable.
Specific areas of focus
Geriatric massage therapists often focus on specific areas of concern, such as the neck, back, and feet.
A geriatric massage can be a great way to provide comfort and relief for an elderly loved one. If you are considering this type of massage for yourself or a loved one, be sure to find a licensed massage therapist who has experience working with the elderly population.
Massage is a great way to address issues that may arise as we age, such as stiffness, soreness, and poor circulation.
It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost immune system function.
If you are an older adult experiencing any of these issues, consider talking to your doctor about whether massage might be right for you.