WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GERIATRIC MASSAGE
What is Geriatric Massage?
Geriatric massage therapy caters to the needs of the elderly. It involves the application of gentle, light massage techniques that enable the muscles to be worked on without injuring the skin. These massage techniques improve circulation and also play a significant role in easing anxiety and depression, as well as helping to improve flexibility and balance in the body.
Why is geriatric massage therapy so important? Why it is necessary for older individuals? There is no doubt that the baby boom generation is heading into their golden years. With an estimated population of seventy-nine million individuals in the United States, we need to make sure the health of those sixty-five and older is taken as a priority. As people age, the body becomes prone to stiffness, pain, achiness and other ailments. In many cases, seniors are left to live their lives without proper support and many experience loneliness. Geriatric massage can be used to provide comfort to seniors who may be feeling touch-deprived or isolated. If these senior citizens are encouraged to receive frequent massage therapy, exercise on a regular basis, focus on eating right and participate in social activities, they can feel vibrant and happy once again. Geriatric massage is conducted by therapists who are specialists in the field. Massage therapy can be combined with a healthy lifestyle to ensure these seniors have a great life. As one of the fastest-growing trends in the touch therapy in the world presently, geriatric massage plays a critical role in the reduction of headaches, pain and stiffness as well as enhancing the flexibility of the body. Massage therapy also improves the mental health, decreases stress and increases overall well-being for seniors.
As professionals, the therapists in charge of the geriatric massage therapy apply gentle strokes or light and passive stretching to ensure the manipulation of the joints, tendons, and muscles of the elderly persons. This therapy is performed with a careful approach to avoid causing damage to the skin of the seniors. Geriatric massage therapy is recommended for elderly people who often experience suboptimal circulation as it enhances the circulation of lymph and blood in the human body. It also permits a free flow of blood to the affected body parts and ensures a faster healing process. With the application of the geriatric therapy massage on these seniors, improvements can be found in the length and quality of sleep.
Individuals with arthritis will find solace in the geriatric massage therapy as it helps them to enhance their posture. As it stands, seniors with arthritis have their movements restricted due to joint pain, but with regular massages, they will be offered a new lease on life with a balanced posture. Geriatric massage can help speed up healing after an injury or illness.
Another fantastic benefit of the geriatric massage is that it rejuvenates the aging skin of seniors with the use of hydrating lotions or oils. The skin of a senior is thinner and more delicate than the skin of young adults thereby making it a necessity to pay special attention to its care. Trained therapists who perform massage therapy understand the process and make use of several oils like coconut and jojoba oil to moisturize the skin. Application of these therapeutic oils ensures the protection of the skin as well as protects it from infections.
Angela Tessier, Licensed Massage Therapist at Ascension Wellness in Des Moines, Washington, has over eight years of experience providing massage therapy to seniors. Angela has training in gentle modalities that are safe for seniors such as lymphatic massage, medicupping, strain-counterstrain (aka positional relaxation) as well as dermoneuromodulation. Ascension Wellness prides itself in providing a comfortable massage experience for seniors with convenient parking, handicap accessible restrooms, and an electric lift massage table that can raise the back of the table for head support as well as adjust to provide knee support. The massage table is heated with a heated pad and the room is warmed with an infrared heat lamp to put the body at ease.