January 29, 2020 by Jordan Nunziato
Massage therapy offers numerous benefits to the entire body. It helps ease joint and muscle pain, and can even reduce the increased levels of stress that tend to come with aging.
Beyond the obvious aesthetic benefits like relaxation, therapeutic massage has been shown to decrease stress in the body and lessen the negative effects of anxiety, depression and even digestive disorders. The techniques used for seniors differ greatly from those used with younger individuals. While similar in technique to other forms of massage, senior massage considers the special needs of their needs.
Mobility challenges may sometimes dictate the massage be done in a bed or wheelchair. The massage therapist may also work both sides of the body at the same time to enhance body awareness, or only work hands and feet, if the client prefers.
Massage can alleviate agitation, one of the symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Research published in 1995 in the Journal for Gerontological Nursing found slow-stroke back massage reduced manifestations of agitation, including wandering, pacing and resisting. And a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found massage promoted relaxation in dementia patients, lessening verbal aggressiveness as well as nonverbal aggressive behaviors.
Massage as a treatment for the management and prevention of age-related diseases is a good alternative to less-natural pharmaceutical treatments. With regular massage, the quality of life is greatly increased, allowing the older patients to feel younger, healthier, and balanced.
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