Those who love massage don’t need a list of benefits to sign up for an appointment at a parlor or settle into a massage chair. After all, why would they need another excuse to do something that makes them feel good? But massage does have a plethora of benefits, and the benefits of massage for seniors are especially noteworthy for those in the caregiving world.
Relieves Joint and Muscle Pain
There is a long list of things that might cause joint and muscle pain in seniors. Sometimes, it’s a condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis, and sometimes, it’s from old injuries, falls, or surgeries. As diverse as the list is, massage can relieve all these pains, either wholly or in part. Massage helps relieve the stiffness that may contribute to these pains, and one can apply it to almost any part of the body that hurts, from an aching back to sore feet.
Poor circulation due to a weakening heart, a sedentary lifestyle, or health conditions like diabetes causes a whole host of discomforts for seniors. These may include cold or tingling hands and feet as well as painful swelling, especially in the limbs. Massage gets the blood circulating more freely through the body to help relieve these symptoms.
Our internal sleep cycles change throughout our lives, and accordingly, many people find that they have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep as they get older. Because massage helps to put the body in a state of relaxation and stimulates the production of serotonin, it can often help people of all ages to fall asleep, even those who struggle with sleep apnea and insomnia.
But seniors don’t only face threats to their physical health. Depression and anxiety are rampant, especially in nursing homes and care facilities, as seniors struggle with a changed lifestyle, medical conditions, sleep disturbances, and dementia. This is especially true in the current climate, with isolation and negative world events compounding these issues.
Massage may not cure all the things that are causing distress in seniors, but several of the benefits of massage for seniors may help improve mood. Massage reduces stress hormones and the issues associated with them, such as tense muscles and high heart rate. The sensation of physical touch in massage may also relieve feelings of loneliness and increase “feel good” hormones to the brain.
Bringing Massage To Seniors
Physical therapists often visit senior living communities regularly to help seniors with intense physical pain. Bringing a massage therapist into nursing homes can bring benefits to these communities in the same way, even if they only come a few times a month. Of course, in today’s climate, bringing extra bodies into a facility is not always advisable, even with extra precautions. Fortunately, massage chairs have several therapeutic features that can offer the same relief as human masseuses. Installing one or more in care communities may improve the quality of life for all residents.