If you have a health condition, it is important to check with your physician first before getting a massage. Conditions that may preclude massage include thrombosis (blood clots); thrombophlebitis (inflammation of a vein); severe edema (swelling), skin lesions, bruises or sensitivity; inflammation; abdominal aneurysm; stroke; or heart incident.
Massage is good for a variety of needs
The needs of the older adult are very diverse. While one 75-year-old may still be running marathons, another may be at the end stage of life in hospice. This means that one person may need massage to help ease muscles and joint pain or to prepare for the next race, while another may need massage to comfort. Massage is very versatile and can be used to care for people in whatever stage of life or state of wellness they are in.
As with younger patients, massage on geriatric patients helps to improve the circulation and the nervous system. Often, a weekly massage will enable patients who are in treatment for chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, depression and other conditions to reduce their medications. Massage also strengthens muscles, reduces stiffness and pain and speeds healing.
The benefits go on and on. Massage treats many of the conditions that aging brings about, such as arthritis, skin discoloration, muscle and bone deterioration, tendonitis, bursitis, and respiratory problems such as asthma and emphysema. It reduces stress, deepens relaxation and breathing, lowers blood pressure, stimulates the bowels and the flow of lymph, improves sleep, releases endorphins and decreases fear and anxiety.
Beyond that, massage provides the simple pleasure of human touch that so many lonely seniors no longer experience, providing some much-needed vitality and self esteem. It brings a sense of well-being and decreases isolation.
Massage is adaptable for wheelchair patients
Geriatric massage is adapted for the elderly by shortening sessions to 30 minutes if 60 minutes is too long for the individual, and taking great care in positioning the elderly body on the massage table, rarely moving the senior once positioned. If the patient is in a wheelchair, the massage can be performed in the chair. Geriatric massage often means more time is spent on the hands and feet, particularly if the client does not walk or have full use of their hands. A gentler massage hand motion is used with an older person. This touch is comforting and soothing to the body and mind.
Massage is a natural therapy that can be used throughout life to enhance the quality of life for many people. Most older adults can obtain many benefits from it, too, and should consider it as part of their health care regiment. It’s important to know that your massage therapist does not diagnose medical conditions and therefore she must work as part of a multidisciplinary team to ensure that you are receiving medical care to diagnose and treat any health problems that may occur.