Some older adults cope with restrictive health issues that can sometimes leave them isolated from those they love most. Other adults may suffer from loneliness or depression after becoming widowed. The social aspect of geriatric massage therapy is just one of the many benefits seniors receive from experiencing therapeutic touch.

 

We all experience stress. But in today’s fast-paced world, we are experiencing more physical, chemical and emotional stress in our lives than ever before. The good news is that you can mitigate the effects of stress and improve your overall wellness.

 

What Is Stress?

Stress is the body’s natural reaction to a stimulus or stressor that disturbs one’s physical or mental equilibrium. Your body’s physiological response to stressful situations can result in the following reactions:

 

  • Increased heart rate and pulse
  • Heightened muscle preparedness/tension
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Digestive system slowdown
  • Immune system suppression
  • Heightened alertness/lack of sleep
  • Increased in cortisol production (stress hormone)

 

Chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems, such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, hypertension, among others. These issues can affect people of all ages, not just older adults.

 

One way to help undo the damage that stress has caused to our bodies is through the use of massage therapy.

 

What Is Geriatric Massage Therapy?

Geriatric massages aim to improve specific aging health conditions like stiff muscles, limited mobility, and chronic pain. Because mature skin contains less moisture, it is more susceptible to bruising and tearing.  Geriatric massage therapists use more soothing, gentle strokes and mild stretching than what is found in a standard massage. The sessions are also usually much shorter, lasting approximately 30 minutes.

 

Professional therapists also adjust massage techniques to fit the specific needs of the client based on their health condition.

How Massage Therapy Benefits Seniors

The overall health benefits of geriatric massage are tremendous. Not only does it improve circulation and joint flexibility, but it also tones muscles, increases strength, and decreases stress, fear, and anxiety. It’s even been shown to help improve quality of sleep, reduce pain and swelling, and help lower blood pressure. Plus, the social interaction helps to improve their overall sense of well-being.

 

Keeping the body strong is one of the most important tasks for an older adult. Remaining active is the best way to improve strength and mobility. Seniors can use any number of aides to help them increase their physical activity such as walkers, canes, crutches, and other tools available at Medical Supply Depot. Seniors should consult with their physician to determine what activities are best for them.

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