Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. According to the government-run organization-Administration On Aging (AOA), there were 39.6 million Americans 65 years of age or older in 2009 (source). This number is expected to double by 2030 to 72.1 million. With such a large percentage of the population entering their “golden years,” it’s important for the general public to take a proactive approach towards seniors’ health and well-being.
Massage Therapy For Seniors and Why It’s Important
While diet and exercise should be a top priority for all seniors, massage therapy should also be considered. Professional massage therapists are often trained to perform special therapeutic massages that reduce muscle tension, alleviate back pain, reduce pain associated with certain types of arthritis, and more. Massage therapy is a simple process that – unlike most procedures performed in a doctor’s office – is completely painless and even enjoyable.
Seniors often suffer from a range of different diseases and health ailments. As our bodies age, the systems which keep it running begin to slow down; thus, placing us at risk for age-related conditions. Some of these conditions include arthritis, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes. Massage therapy often relieves the pain and discomfort associated with these conditions, and in some cases, it can even improve the condition itself.
What Is a Geriatric Massage?
Geriatric massage is a special type of massage that’s designed specifically for older adults. It’s characterized by gently massaging the soft tissue to improve blood circulation, reduce pain, and increase the person’s mobility/motion. A professional massage therapist may also give special attention to the joints to improve flexibility and ward off joint pain.
Some of the benefits of geriatric massage include the following:
- Increases mobility and range of motion.
- Reduces pain and inflammation.
- Relieves stress and anxiety while releasing “happy” chemicals known as endorphins.
- Promotes a good night’s sleep by relaxing and soothing the nervous system.
- Improves blood flow throughout the body.
- Reduces recovery/healing time of injuries and surgeries.
- Improves lymphatic flow, which subsequently flushes toxins out of the body.
- Geriatric massage sessions are typically shorter than other types of massage (usually 30 minutes or less).
- Gentle pressure that’s comfortable and enjoyable.
- Keeps muscles and tissue activated to discourage atrophy.
Massage therapy is a practice that people of all ages and background can benefit from. So whether you’re young, old or anywhere in between, schedule an appointment with a therapist to see first-hand how it can improve your life.