There’s no doubt that as we age our bodies change. We become more susceptible to illnesses, lose bone and muscle mass, and generally become frailer. And while we can’t exactly stop the aging process, there is a way to help your body as you navigate the waters of aging; massage therapy. Geriatric massage is a type of massage therapy specifically tailored to address issues that commonly affect the elderly.
While people of all ages can enjoy a standard massage, finding someone trained in geriatric massage can ensure their ability to address some of your unique needs. For example, there should be extensive discussions between you and your massage therapist about any medications, medical conditions, or areas of concern to ensure that your appointment is the most helpful. Any time you return for an appointment be sure to update us of any changes. Generally, geriatric massage should be light and gentle, aiming to improve movement, decrease joint pain, increase local circulation in specific areas where you may have some deficiencies, and improve mood.
Most deep pressure techniques, and those meant to penetrate down into the muscle tissue, are avoided as they can cause more harm than good. We don’t want to leave you to bruise, achy, or not feeling well after what should be a wonderful experience. Be sure to speak up if you ever feel like the pressure is too much. There also tends to be a loss of sensation as we age, and sometimes that means your brain doesn’t interpret the pressure quite as strongly as it really is, leading you to feel like you can handle more than is really safe for your body. This doesn’t apply to everyone, by any means, but if you notice that we’re not using as deep of pressure as you’d prefer, it may be our way of protecting your body. We may do this to adjust for medications you’re on as well, such as blood thinners which can make you bruise much more easily.
Another important aspect of geriatric massage is the simple act of touch. Beyond all the physiological benefits, massage has been shown to improve mood and boost feelings of well-being, especially in those who are experiencing a form of touch deprivation. As we age, through life changes and medical needs, we often don’t receive healthy forms of touch as often as we used to. Massage can make up for some of that by providing a safe, comforting form of touch; something every single person innately needs.
So, if you or someone you know could benefit from this specialized form of care, book an appointment or get in touch and we’ll discuss any special needs you may have.