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The Power of Touch How Massage Can Positively Impact Senior Citizens

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By Soraya Diaz, LMT, Reiki Master/Teacher

The importance of touch for older adults cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in promoting physical and mental health.

The ‘untouched’ years of seniors are often marked by isolation and loneliness, with many elderly individuals feeling disconnected from society and lacking physical touch. Seniors find themselves living alone or in nursing homes, leading to feelings of isolation and depression. Receiving regular and caring touch, such as massage therapy, can provide relaxation, comfort and the feeling they are not alone.

Many individuals have faced emotional trauma and stress, so the power of touch can also serve as a transformative healer in these situations.

As we age, it is natural for our physical and mental health to change. That doesn’t mean we should accept feelings of uselessness and disconnection as an inevitable part of the aging process. Aging is a natural process that affects us all differently, but it’s crucial to acknowledge its impact on our health and well-being.

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Massage therapy alleviates depression by providing comfort through touch, which is especially important when an individual has been deprived of it.

The power of human touch through massage triggers a biochemical reaction that releases endorphins, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in seniors and improve behavioral symptoms in clients with dementia.

By incorporating massage therapy into their care, senior adults or those who care for them can help improve their overall quality of life.

Some other Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors:

1. Increase flexibility and range of motion by utilizing massage therapy to relax aging muscles that have tightened due to inactivity.

2. Easing Muscle and Joint Pain. Massage for the Elderly involves a thorough understanding of the human body and its various systems, particularly the musculoskeletal system. By focusing on soothing rigid muscles and unyielding joints, massage therapy offers a significant reprieve from the discomforts of aging, injury, or chronic pain conditions. The therapy not only helps to soften those tough spots but also increases blood flow, which plays a crucial role in pain relief and healing. A licensed massage therapist is trained to identify problem areas and adjust their technique accordingly to maximize mobility improvements for seniors on or off the massage table.

3. Helps manage chronic pain: Chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia can significantly impact seniors’ quality of life. Massage therapy complements conventional pain management strategies, and research shows it can effectively reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and muscle soreness after physical activity.

4. Improve circulation: Massage therapy can improve circulation by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, which can promote relaxation and reduce discomfort.

5. Arthritic Pain relief: Arthritis, a common illness among older adults, involves the inflammation and sensitization of joints, leading to significant pain and discomfort. Massage therapy, while unable to cure arthritis entirely, can help alleviate symptoms by releasing built-up muscle tension and providing a convenient alternative for stimulation.

6. Mental well-being: Understanding the connection between massage therapy and mental health is crucial, especially for older adults, as it can have a profound impact on their overall well-being. The impact of touch not only soothes but also deeply heals from within, making it an important tool for managing stress and other mental health issues. For those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, therapeutic massage has been shown to decrease stress significantly, highlighting its potential as a complementary therapy for this condition.

7. Better sleep patterns: Sleep disturbances are a common problem for the elderly, negatively impacting their overall health. Massage therapy sessions promote relaxation and tension release, resulting in improved sleep quality. Seniors who receive regular massages experience more restful nights and increased daytime alertness.

8. Improves balance: Falling is a major concern for seniors as aging can lead to weaker bones and poor posture. By increasing blood flow to the limbs and other areas that help with upright posture, massage can improve proprioception and balance, reducing the likelihood of falling.

9. Boost the immune system: To avoid illnesses and infections, seniors need a strong immune system. Massage therapy enhances immune/boosting cell production, which improves the body’s defense mechanisms. This is especially important in advanced age.

10. Stimulation of the digestive system: Constipation is a common and frustrating issue that many seniors face, but massage therapy has been shown to be a remarkable solution. By stimulating muscle movement, massage therapy can enhance the digestive system, making it easier to go to the bathroom. In fact, studies have shown that elders who receive massage sessions on a weekly basis tend to have better digestive health and fewer issues with constipation.

Massage therapists often customize their techniques to accommodate the individual needs and conditions of older adults, incorporating gentle strokes, kneading, and stretching while considering the potential frailty and sensitivities of aging bodies, thereby ensuring a safe and comfortable experience. Our healing center takes this approach a step further by incorporating Reflexology, Myofascial Release, and ReikiMassage as part of our non-invasive, gentle massage techniques to promote overall well-being and healing.

Massage therapy has been a valuable asset for our senior clients, helping them manage and overcome various physical health issues and providing a sense of relief and comfort due to the hormonal release it triggers. To further amplify the positive impact of massage therapy, we offer a range of complementary practices, including Reiki, Chair Yoga, Qigong, and Meditation, all of which can be combined with massage therapy to provide a holistic approach to health and wellness and ensure a rewarding experience for our clients.

Consult your doctor first to make sure there are no risks in massage therapy based on your existing health conditions. The information provided is intended for information purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice.

For More Information
Contact us:
Angel Touch Healing Center
“Your path to inner bliss.”
12579 Spring Hill Dr.
Spring Hill, Fl 34609
( 815) 978-0864
[email protected]

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