Geriatrics massages are one form of therapeutic treatment that addresses the specific needs of seniors. At a healthy age, the use of massages can help to reduce stress or mental problems. People affected by Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, depression, or other illnesses are more likely to experience pain and difficulty concentrating on activities. Geriatric massage helps with these issues. The specialized approach in the care of older people is capable of helping older patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase their physical functions lost by aging.
In 1850, two brothers, George Taylor and Charles Taylor introduced modern massage in the U.S. This method was developed in the 1830s by Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Lind. He was cured by tapping his elbow. He then developed the Swedish massage method. The Massage Technique includes the use of prolonged glides and friction, kneading, and taps to soft tissue. Active joints can also be carried out passively.
Research And General Acceptance
Increasingly, geriatric massage became popular within medical communities. It has been prescribed to older patients to increase blood flow and reduce pain in arthritis. This medication has often benefited Parkinson’s patients by improving their mobility. Usually, patients pay for these services, but some insurers provide reimbursement for massage therapy. As of 2001, Medicare and Medicaid could not provide these services.
Benefits Of Geriatric Massage
There are many potential benefits of geriatric massage, which may include:
Reduced pain. Massage therapy has been shown to provide pain relief for conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia.
Improved circulation. Reduced blood pressure and heart rate, as well as increased blood flow to muscles, may all improve with a massage.
Increased joint mobility. Massage therapy not only improves flexibility and range of motion in stiff or aching joints but can also help relieve pain in conditions such as arthritis.
Reduced anxiety and depression. Getting a massage can help reduce anxiety and depression by promoting relaxation and improving mood.
Improved sleep quality. Massage therapy can reduce stress and tension, which may in turn improve sleep quality.
Boosted immune system. Massage may help to boost the immune system by reducing stress hormones and increasing white blood cell count.
Stimulated release of endorphins. Massaging the body has been known to help release endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
Geriatric Massage Characteristics
While geriatric massage uses several of the same massage techniques as general massage, it is customized to a client’s specific health conditions and needs. Typically, geriatric massages have the following defining characteristics:
– It is performed with the client lying on a massage table or in a comfortable position on a bed.
– The massage therapist uses light to moderate pressure, long strokes, and circular movements.
– The massage is shorter than a general massage, lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
– The massage therapist checks in with the client frequently to ensure that the pressure and strokes are comfortable.
How Geriatric Massage Is Different?
As elderly people have specific medical needs related to age, senior massage follows the basic massage technique for senior needs. Adaptations were made to traditional massage techniques for older adults:
– A massage therapist will lubricate the skin with massage oil.
– He/She will use light strokes to warm up the muscles before starting the massage.
– The therapist will massage the neck, shoulders, and back first since these are the areas where most people hold tension.
– The therapist may also massage the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
– Seniors may be massaged while lying on their side or sitting in a chair.
– The massage should not be too deep or too soft.
– The therapist will adjust the pressure according to each individual’s tolerance.
– The massage should not last for more than an hour.
Risks And Precautions
Geriatric massage is generally safe for most people, but there are some risks and precautions to be aware of especially for certain people:
-Without their doctor’s approval, cancer patients and those with a history of cancer should not receive massages.
-People with bleeding disorders or who take blood thinners should speak to their doctor before getting a massage.
– If you have a history of blood clots, do not get a massage without doctor’s approval.
– Massage should not be given to those who have open wounds or sores until their wounds have healed.
– People with a fever should not receive massages.
– People with an infectious disease should not have a massage until they are no longer contagious.
-If you have osteoporosis or are at risk for fractures, get your doctor’s approval before getting a massage.
As always, it is best to consult with a doctor before starting any massage therapy program.
Touch Is Fundamental To Our Human Existence In Ways Remarkable And Exceedingly Powerful
The massage therapy we choose consists of a staggering number of approaches and techniques but the fundamental principle of nearly every approach is the ability to touch the recipient. Touch has become such a central aspect of our lives that we often refer to sensory experiences as well. The stories are warm and welcoming and the unfriendly are regarded as “disgusting”. Touch may be viewed as essential to our lives in some senses that may overrule most other senses in our existence.
Training And Certification
The U.S. Department of Education has accredited 58 schools for massage therapy to their accredited program. Each school requires a minimum of 50 hours of massage. Certified massage therapists are graduates from programs that pass a nationally recognized certification exam for massage therapy. The students should be enrolled in continuing education programs to improve their skills.
For massage therapy to be most effective, it is important to find a qualified massage therapist who has experience working with seniors. The therapist should be able to tailor the massage to each individual’s needs and health condition. Older adults who have chronic health conditions or who are taking certain medications may need to avoid or limit certain massage techniques. It is always best to consult with a doctor before starting any massage therapy program.