Patience is a virtue that is often praised, yet challenging to practice. In a world that values instant gratification and quick results, it can be difficult to develop...
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Massage for Older Adults?
As we age, our bodies undergo a variety of changes that can make us feel less comfortable in our own skin. Muscles become weaker, joints become stiffer, and various aches and pains can arise. However, just because these changes are a natural part of aging doesn't mean that we have to simply accept them and live with discomfort. There are a variety of therapies and treatments that can help older adults to alleviate their symptoms and improve their overall well-being. One such therapy is massage.
Massage therapy involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body to promote relaxation, reduce pain and stiffness, and improve circulation. For older adults, massage can be particularly beneficial, as it can help to address many of the common physical and emotional challenges that come with aging.
Whether you're an older adult looking to improve your overall health and well-being or a caregiver or family member looking for ways to support an older loved one, massage can be an excellent tool to help achieve these goals. In the following sections, we will explore each of these benefits in more detail and provide tips for getting the most out of massage therapy.
9 Benefits of Massages for Aging Adults
Improving Postural Stability
Falling presents a significant concern to seniors. As we are, bones weaken, muscles lose strength, and the body loses postural balance. Fortunately, therapeutic massage provides an opportunity for older adults to regain their physical vibrancy.
Massage aids blood circulation in the body. As a result, bone tissues get more oxygen and nutrients, resulting in stronger bones. Additionally, the muscles are nourished and receive a boost of energy. With your mind relaxed from the therapy, you're doing yourself a favor by improving your body posture and balance.
With a similar impact as a light workout, massages trigger the release of endorphins. These hormones are responsible for feeling good and reducing stress. It's common for older adults to feel stressed, both mentally and physically. Whatever the reason for stress an adult might be experiencing, a massage can help to alleviate it. So, book your appointment if you are feeling stressed!
Blood has multiple essential functions in the body. And this is beside the primary role of supplying nutrients and oxygen throughout the body while eliminating toxins. Unfortunately, as we age, blood circulation weakens, which results in increased accumulation of toxins in the body.
However, that's about to change when you get on a massage bench. Another benefit of getting a massage is that you can improve the circulation of your blood. As a result, improved blood circulation aids in the flushing of harmful toxins, as well as regulating your body temperature.
Reducing the Risks of Depression
A massage is also comforting to older adults who suffer from depression. While massages will likely not cure depression, it has been found to significantly reduce cortisol and increase serotonin. This contributes to your body's ability to defend against pain, anxiety, and sadness. A massage can also help reduce the physical effects associated with depression, such as tight muscles and stiffness.
Alleviating Alzheimer's Symptoms
From various studies on the effects of massage on Alzheimer's, the results show massages lead to an improvement in the quality of life for those living with the disease. Therefore, if you are suffering from this disease or have a loved one with this condition, encourage them to try massage. While it will not cure Alzheimer's, it has been shown to improve daily life, and some studies have even suggested that massage has a positive effect on reducing the effects of Alzheimer's. One study has even indicated the increased blood flow reduces the impact of memory loss.
Improving Sleep Quality
Insomnia is common among older adults. Fortunately, massage can help with this too. Massage reportedly contributes to longer periods of rest and better sleeping habits. In addition, it promotes body and mind relaxation evoking a sense of calmness. This body calmness further promotes better sleep patterns and quality. This outcome, in turn, shows an improvement in the overall health as the body gets enough time for repair and recovery.
Great for those with osteoarthritis
Therapeutic massage is beneficial to those with osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is associated with the wear and tear of cartilage over time. It is accompanied by unbearable pain that can also be partially alleviated through massage. Through the massage strokes, blood circulation can improve in inflamed areas, and the pain is reduced. Further, it helps slow this condition, and improves flexibility as well as body posture.
Relieving Arthritis Symptoms
Besides the positive impact on improving the condition of people suffering from Osteoarthritis, massage is excellent for other arthritis pain. While it will not cure this condition, it can reduce the suffering from arthritis symptoms. It relieves the burning sensation and eases the pain. Through greater blood flow, inflammation zones warm up, and improved circulation begins alleviating the pain.
Strengthening the Immune System
From the experience of massage therapists and documented studies, people who receive massage tend to suffer less from illness. This is because massage helps in the elimination of all toxins from the body. In addition, with better circulation, the lungs, among other detoxifying organs, clean up the blood at a higher rate. As such, the body is left clean and free of disease-causing microbes.
At the same time, the stress release impact of massage also positively impacts the immune system. When the body is stress-free, its ability to combat antigens increases. As such, the body's defense system becomes more robust and less susceptible to sickness.
As you can see, therapeutic massage is a wonderful option for older adults. It has many advantages, and the list above only shows a few of the critical ones. From stress reduction to pain alleviation to improving body balance, the list goes on and on.
Note: Before enrolling for therapeutic massage, ensure you sign up with a professional specializing in serving seniors. You can ask for their certificate to be sure. It is also best to consult your physician before making any decisions. You should receive approval from a physician to ensure you will reap benefits and do not create unnecessary risks.