While people of all ages can experience the healthy benefits of a massage, the effects of a therapeutic rubdown may especially be useful for seniors. Even if you’ve never had the pleasure of taking in a relaxing massage, it’s never too late to see how this ancient technique can provide numerous advantages to your day. Here are just a few of the ways massages can help improve the quality of life for seniors:
For seniors who are living with arthritis, receiving frequent massage sessions has been known to help alleviate certain symptoms associated with the inflammatory disease. According to the United Methodist Homes, manipulating specific areas of the body affected by arthritis can work as a natural lubricant for your joints, helping ease pain and stiffness produced by the condition. Massage therapy for senior arthritis sufferers may also help out with each of the following:
- Producing more flexible joints
- Increasing overall range of motion
- Relieving muscle soreness or swelling
- Improving blood circulation
In addition to medication and other forms of therapy, massage sessions could prove as an effective alternative treatment for the nearly 50 percent of people aged 65 or older living with an arthritis diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maintaining your mental health is an important part of aging, and certain studies have examined how messages may help seniors ward off various cognitive ailments. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, research has indicated that different forms of massage have proved effective for seniors trying to manage symptoms of cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Areas of improvement that have been reported through massage therapy on dementia patients include increased body awareness, heightened alertness and reduced episodes of anxiety or confusion.
Another aspect of cognitive health massages have been known to aid with is depression. When more ailments begin to develop through aging, depression is a commonly reported symptom of these symptoms. The American Massage Therapy Association also details how massage relief may help improve moods of seniors who are dealing with a variety of health concerns, such as high blood pressure, chronic pain or constant fatigue.
Best type of massage for seniors
There are a variety of specific massages that work to address areas of the body that seniors need relief with. One of the better-known types of massages catered to the elderly is geriatric massages. This type of rubdown is a more gentle experience on the skin, which is supposed to help seniors who are more sensitive to touch become better accustomed to the alleviating practices of a massage.
Light oils or lotion are generally used with geriatric massages, so muscles can be worked on without producing too much tension upon the skin. A typical geriatric massage may help seniors enhance their blood flow, improve their flexibility or balance and reduce overall pain in bones and joints. These are just a few of the ways massages can help change a senior’s life.