Geriatric massage therapy is a specialized form of massage designed specifically to address the needs of seniors. This type of massage considers age related changes that the body experiences, such as sensory changes and physical limitations.
Geriatric massage therapists use techniques such as:
- light touch,
- rhythmic strokes,
- counterpressure to provide relaxation,
The number of geriatric massage sessions recommended for a senior can vary depending on what health goals they wish to achieve.
In general, however, geriatric massage is thought to have wide-reaching positive impacts, including:
- improved circulation and mobility,
- reduced anxiety and stress levels,
- decreased chronic pain symptoms in areas such as the neck and shoulders,
- improved joint range of motion and flexibility,
- healthy digestion and elimination,
- better sleep habits
All while providing a sense of relaxation and an overall improved quality of life.
What does research suggest?
An increasingly popular form of care for the elderly is geriatric massage therapy. According to research, this type of massage therapy may help to enhance both physical and mental health, lessen pain and stiffness, and enhance sleep quality. The American Massage Therapy Association lists several advantages of geriatric massage treatment, including:
- increased circulation,
- better sleep,
- lowered stress levels,
- better moods,
- increased overall well-being.
It is thought to be particularly beneficial for seniors with physical and mental health issues. It can relax muscles and improve circulation, thus providing relief from aches and pains.
Geriatric massage has been shown to boost vitality and mood, sometimes even lessening depressive symptoms. Additionally, research indicates that the majority of seniors can safely use this type of massage therapy. However, it’s important to remember that certain elders may be more susceptible to adverse effects due to age-related conditions like thinning skin or decreased mobility. Therefore, the patient’s doctor must be contacted before beginning any massage therapy.
Considerations that must be made
A massage therapist would consider a variety of criteria to ensure that a massage for an elderly client is both safe and beneficial.
A geriatric massage therapist should consider the condition of a client’s skin when providing massages to elderly clients. The skin of the elderly becomes thinner and less elastic due to aging, so geriatric massage therapists need to use gentle techniques. In addition, has to take into account the amount of pressure being applied, and ensure that lubricants are used to reduce friction on the skin.
Geriatric massage therapists should be aware that elderly clients might have underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, poor circulation, or poor nutrition that impacts their skin’s health which might need special considerations in order to provide a safe and comfortable experience for the client.
Before you engage in any type of massage, it’s essential to speak with a geriatric massage therapist about any existing medical issues such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes or heart disease. This is especially important if the person getting the massage has a family member who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – ensuring that the geriatric masseuse has all of the necessary health information before beginning.
Don’t forget to advise your geriatric massage therapist of any allergies or sensitivities too, so they can adjust the products they use accordingly. However, with all conditions considered, you can rest assured that your geriatric massage will be safe and enjoyable.
Temperature plays an important part in massage therapy for seniors. As the elderly are especially sensitive to changes in temperature, massage therapists must ensure that the massage room and massage table are comfortable and cozy.
Relaxation was the name of the game for 36 elderly participants in a recent Japanese study. After just 15 minutes of pampering with hand massages, these seniors enjoyed improved feelings and increased skin temperature – proving that age is nothing but a number!
It’s important to think of appropriate draping, blankets, and room heating as these can make a real difference to an elderly client’s massage experience. By taking care with these details, massage therapists can easily create a pleasant massage environment for any senior.
How can I locate a geriatric massage therapist?
The best way to locate a geriatric massage therapist is by searching online for practitioners in your local area. Additionally, you can contact local massage therapist schools or medical spas to inquire about practitioners who specialize in geriatric massage.
Here are a few ways to help you locate a licensed geriatric massage therapist:
- Consult your physician or the health or community center in your area for advice.
- Check to see if massage therapy is available at your long-term residential health institution.
- To locate nearby massage therapists, use the Internet.
- Contact professional organizations such as the American Massage Therapy Association or Society for Geriatric Massage. They may be able to provide a list of providers in your area.
A lot of retirement communities and senior centers offer massage therapy services. And they might be able to recommend geriatric massage therapists. Finally, you may also consult your doctor or health care provider for referrals or recommendations.
What are some cautions to be aware of?
It is important to be aware of a few cautions when it comes to geriatric massage therapy.
- First and foremost, geriatric massage should only be performed with geriatric-specific training; a therapist without the needed credentials may inadvertently cause harm to an elderly patient’s body.
- Additionally, communication is key – geriatric massage therapists should have an open dialogue with their patients so that they can understand any medical history, potential pain points and other factors that could impede the patient’s treatment experience.
- With these cautions in mind, geriatric massage can truly provide numerous benefits for elderly individuals looking for relief from chronic pain or injury.
1. How Can Massage Help Elderly People Manage Pain?
Massage therapy can help elderly people handle pain by:
- concentrating on preserving healthy muscle and joint function,
- reducing tension and stiffness brought on by aging,
- reducing inflammation,
- increasing circulation,
- encouraging relaxation.
Additionally, it can help lessen persistent pain from illnesses like fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis.
2. How Often Should Elderly People Receive Massage?
The frequency of massage therapy for elderly people will depend on the seniors’ needs and overall health conditions. Generally, elderly people should receive massage therapy once every two to four weeks if they have no contraindications. This is because massage therapy positively affects overall health and well-being for elderly individuals.
3. What Types of Massage Therapy are Available for Elderly People?
Many types of massage therapy are available for elderly people, including:
- Swedish massage,
- deep tissue massage,
- sports massage,
- Trigger Point Massage,
- Thai Massage