It is no secret that everyone can benefit from massage therapy. Don’t think that massage therapy is something that becomes less important as you age. If anything, the benefits are even more pertinent among our aging and elderly. Older adults who engage in physical activity will have less of a predisposition to Alzheimer's and cognitive decline.
As you age, it is normal to become more familiar with aches and pains you may not have been as cognizant about when you were younger. For some, this may be all the more reason to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. However, letting your physical activity decrease will not offer any respite to the unpleasantries that can creep in.
With the availability of the right furniture and/or accessories as featured on sites like LivingEarthCrafts.com, seniors can allow themselves the benefits of massage. Massage is especially effective with the elderly in alleviating not only the discomfort of joint stiffness associated with the likes of osteoarthritis but it will also improve the overall quality of sleep. Having good sleeping habits is directly correlated with an overall sense of wellbeing and better health.
As if an improvement in sleep habits and quality of sleep wasn’t enough, there are other benefits to massage among the elderly. Physical and mental relaxation are direct results of massage therapy. By allowing your body to relax, it promotes your body’s overall rejuvenation.
Especially among the elderly, battling depression is a concern. Many can feel depressed due to the lack of physical touch. By having regular massages, seniors can attain their much-needed comfort through the gentle, soothing hands of massage, which lowers the likelihood of depression.
It's a reasonable conclusion that the elderly are not as active as they were in yesteryear. Inactivity causes muscles and tendons to shorten and tighten. When faced with an injury, those who maintained a level of suppleness through massage therapy have a quicker healing and recovery time from injuries and illness.
Not all massages are created equal. Geriatric massages utilize different techniques that cater to an aging body and are more focused on the delicate manipulation of soft tissues. Knowing that the elderly may be more prone to different health concerns than the younger population, certain precautions have to be taken.
Body positioning is one of these concerns. If you have somebody who struggles with respiratory issues, you do not want them in a prone position for their massage. Instead, these individuals should be massaged either sitting up or laying on their sides.
Because the physicality of the elderly is different from others, there are certain things to be mindful of to ensure both their health and safety. Massages on the elderly should be more delicate and soothing as opposed to any type of deep tissue massage. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and less resistant to the pressure applied and motions during a massage. Simply put, the skin of the elderly is more apt to tear if not handled cautiously.
Be sure any health concerns of the elderly person are known prior to beginning a massage. Some health issues, such as blood clots, will require clearance from their doctor to make sure that they won’t suffer any adverse effects. Never allow any type of massage on any part of the body that may be injured as you can cause further damage. Likewise, stay well away from any open sores, ulcers or visible rashes.
Overall health, at any age, requires taking care of both mind and body. What better than a massage that stands to nurture both?
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