Massage Therapy for the Elderly

massage for seniors what the research says
Massage therapy for the elderly is quite different from massage therapy for youngsters. As we get older, the needs of our bodies change along with our psychological needs. So, therapists must be aware of the differences. Elderly clients should feel comfortable when having a massage. And the therapy should be a pleasant experience with lasting benefits. Massage for the aged is not as widespread as it might be due to a lack of awareness and understanding. Many of our older citizens don’t realize the benefits they can reap from massage therapy.

Why Massage is Important for the Elderly

As we age, we tend to become less active. With fewer opportunities for physical exercise, we move around much less than we used to. And this harms our quality of life. The problem is common among most of society’s senior citizens. At this age, massage therapy not only reduces the signs of aging but also strengthens our defenses against many diseases that arise as a consequence of our reduced mobility.

How it benefits Society

Elderly citizens play an important role in local communities and society as a whole. Taking care of our elderly grandparents, parents and loved ones builds a caring civilized society. Emphasizing the positive, we can counteract and even eliminate negativity. And, when we too are old and grey, we’ll appreciate a gentle massage to relieve our aches and pains.

Massage Techniques for Seniors

Massage therapy for the elderly involves applying light pressure while stroking, stretching and kneading specific points. It is intended to lubricate joints and release muscle tension to provide relaxation and relief from arthritic pain. Furthermore, massage therapies must be completely safe for elderly people. Consequently, massage therapists take particular care not to exert excessive pressure on aged muscles and tissues.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly

Massage is undoubtedly beneficial to the mental and physical health and well-being of the elderly. In particular, massage therapy has had a positive impact on patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the many advantages of massage therapy for the elderly:
  • Promotes Relaxation
  • Counteracts depression
  • Improves communication
  • Extends the range of movement by naturally lubricating joints
  • Relieves pain in arthritis patients
  • Improves mental health
  • Increases energy levels
  • Strengthens muscles and helps co-ordination
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Manages pain resulting from various ailments
  • Improves posture by relaxing tensed muscles
  • Makes the body more flexible
  • Enables the elderly to enjoy longer more peaceful hours of sleep
  • Improves quality of life
These treatments alleviate the physical and mental symptoms of aging to impart a feeling of comfort and well-being.

Geriatric Massage:

This massage is specifically designed to meet the needs of aged patients. It incorporates light stretching and soothing manipulation with oil or cream to gently relax tense muscles and tissue. Elements of a geriatric massage:
  • Gentle hand movements relax and bring comfort to the body and mind.
  • Stiff, tensed up muscles in hands and feet unwind under gentle massage. Soft strokes are occasionally interrupted by stronger strokes to promote greater flexibility.
  • Massage sessions for older citizens are usually quite short – no more than 20 to 30 minutes. So there’s no danger of overdoing it!
Important note: Before opting for any massage therapy, particularly in old age, seek advice from your physician. Massage therapy is not recommended for seniors suffering from certain ailments, injuries, and age-related disorders.


Many age-related health issues, both corporal and mental, can be traced back to a lack of physical exercise. The secret, therefore, is to keep the mind and body active. Massage is one of the best alternatives. It certainly works well for the elderly, giving them a chance to feel healthier and look younger than many of their peers.


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