Massage therapy isn’t just for the younger generation; seniors can benefit from it too. Whether it’s to fight arthritis or promote better sleep at night, there are a number of reasons why seniors should seek massage therapy. Below is a closer look at some of the top benefits of massage therapy for seniors.
Relieves Osteoarthritis Pain and Inflammation
Osteoarthritis is a common condition among seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34% of adults 65 years of age and older suffer from this condition. While there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, massage therapy has been shown to offer relief of the pain and adverse symptoms it brings. A 2001 study conducted by Washington state researchers found that 57% of respondents who were diagnosed with osteoarthritis has used massage therapy to treat their symptoms within the last five months. Massage therapy is a safe, natural way to reduce inflammation, which in turn relieves the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Do you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep at night? Sleep disorders can affect people of all ages, but they are particularly commonplace among seniors. As we age, our bodies circadian rhythm, which controls the sleep/wake cycle, can become disrupted, making it difficult to obtain a restful night’s sleep. Rather than resorting to medicinal sleep aides, seniors should consider using massage therapy. Thousands of people have reported success when using massage therapy to improve their sleep cycles.
Massage therapy is well known to relieves stress. Stress is not only psychological, but can have effects on a person’s physical health and well-being. When you are stressed, your body produces more stress hormones like cortisol, which can in turn raise your blood pressure, suppress your immune system, and promote weight gain. A professional massage therapist can lower your stress levels through a series of manual manipulation practices.
There’s some belief that massage therapy can reduce agitation in seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or similar forms of dementia. A 1995 study found that both “therapeutic touch” and massage therapy can help calm patients who were experiencing agitation caused by dementia. Of the two techniques, massage therapy was the most effective.
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