Perhaps one of our biggest responsibilities is caring for our seniors. Senior massage is a wonderful way to respond to this charge and provides them with many physical as well as psychological benefits.
This very important segment of our population often feels a sense of isolation or loneliness and some medications can contribute to depression, which can often exacerbate these feelings of seclusion. Massage can be an effective tool in helping them reconnect with their bodies, allow them to verbalize feelings of sadness at the death of a partner or the loss of their friends or loved ones. Human connection is vital to all of us, and massage provides a safe situation for them to feel human touch, care and concern.
Seniors also have different requirements than the younger population; their skin is thinner, and bruises or tears easily. They may have arthritis or osteoarthritis that would denote a special type of massage. They also generally have less muscle tissue than a younger person, and a gentle touch is necessary.
Elder massage is an important tool to use in creating a sense of well being and tranquility. The senior also finds satisfaction in the knowledge that they are doing something for their body which enhances wellness, is excellent for their general health, and provides many benefits. Many seniors have found that massage alleviates low back and hip pain, providing an increase in range of motion1 and allows them to experience more freedom of movement and this, in turn, can give the impetus they need to exercise more frequently, which is always beneficial. This is a time in their lives when they have concerns such as control of blood sugars2, blood pressure, heart health, and bone health. Massage can be a key component in each of these conditions, as well as enhancing the immune system by stimulating lymph flow, our body's natural defense system. An added benefit is increased circulation to joints and tissues, and an increase in endorphins, that natural feeling of euphoria!
Consider a gift certificate for a family member, neighbor or friend who may be needing therapeutic touch, and always look for a massage therapist who specializes in Elder or Senior massage, as they will have the knowledge and skills necessary to assist them. May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month, let us all endeavor to protect and care for this growing demographic of our society!
Shelli Rossignol, LMT/CR