People are living longer and longer, due to better diets, better healthcare, and better living conditions. Although the environment surrounding us has changed, the basic needs of humans haven’t changed, which means massage is still as important in your elder years as it is in your younger years, however for those baby boomers looking to enhance their health, massage can mean more than just a time to relax and enjoy.
The effectiveness of massage goes hand in hand with how it impacts the whole body. Not only does it reduce stress, it also eases muscle and joint pain along with easing arthritic pain as well. Massage is non-invasive, providing those with age-related diseases and improvement on the quality of their lives.
The benefits of massage have been noted in Massage Today as an:
- Improvement of the patient’s quality of life and self-esteem
- Improvement in length and quality of sleep
- Relief of stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness
- Alleviation of headaches and pain
- Speeding up of healing from injury and illness
- Partial restoration of mobility lost due to Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, etc.
- Mental and physical relaxation
- Improvement in lymphatic flow which increases the excretion of toxic substances from the body. (source: www.massagetoday.com)
Some of the best types of massage, and the ones we most recommend for the elderly is lymphatic drainage, Myofacial and Swedish massage. With Swedish massage, the light, gentle strokes can be relaxing and with acute pain will ease discomfort. For the elderly that suffer from arthritic pain, Swedish massage can be quite comforting; a consistent regimen of massage will also reduce the arthritic pain.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage encourages the natural drainage of the lymph to carry away waste products from the tissues back towards the heart. Reducing the accumulation of toxins from the elderly’s lymph and easing the depression of the immune system’s functions will keep the elderly healthier and more able to fight off viruses.
Myofascial release is performed with gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissues to restore motion and eliminate pain. Stretching the connective tissue gently unravels any knots or tightness; gentle pressure sinks into the tissues and allows the stretching to permanently change.
Yes, medication can also help keep the elderly healthy; however the basic need of massage remains the same-keeping the physical body healthy is like a domino effect. When the entire body works together in perfect harmony, the overall quality of life for the elderly increases-isn’t that how all of us want to be when we are in our elder years?