For many elderly people, a geriatric massage is the only touching that they get from an external source, as many of their spouses and friends have died, and they no longer have a relationship with anyone that involves touching, sometimes for many years. This can lead to several different problems, human beings need to be touched for their emotional well-being, and there are many reasons for geriatric massage for physical reasons as well. Let’s take a look at some different kinds of massages and their importance to the elderly.
Why Regular Massage Is Important For Skin
One of the things that happens to the elderly as they age, is their skin can become very fragile and thin. There several different reasons for this, one is that fat and collagen below the skin starts to dissipate when the skin is no longer moved around, touched, and manipulated. Many elderly people start to notice that their skin is thinner than a piece of paper, and they can see through it to the muscles and veins very easily. They will begin to bruise easily, and any hard bump can break the skin and start to bleed. Some steroidal medications can aggravate the situation as well. In order to begin to repair the skin, it’s important to take some omega-3 fish oil capsules, a full spectrum high potency vitamin supplement, and begin to massage the skin frequently, using a quality skincare lotion or cream. By regular massage, many of the minute capillaries that feed the collagen just below the skin, will begin to regrow and the skin will start to get thicker and become tougher as well.
A Massage Is Great For Relaxation And Emotional Well-Being
While the primary focus of a normal massage is to help relax the muscles and relieve stress, it also helps to stretch their legs, feet, and shoulders as they become stiff and immobile from sitting in the same position for long periods of time in a chair. Many of the elderly spend hours per day sitting in the same chair, either watching TV or reading, in the same exact position all day long. This leads to circulation problems and makes it much more difficult to move when needed. Not being able to move, causes enormous depression and fear for the elderly, who are constantly afraid of being put into a nursing home and away from all their friends.
A Daily Massage Helps Combat A Variety Of Diseases
A geriatric massage can help increase blood circulation which helps combat diabetes, plus helps the lymphatic system move waste and toxins around to be eliminated from the body. Insomnia has been shown to be reduced as well as an increase in joint mobility, a lessening of arthritic pain, and major improvements in balance all by getting daily massages.
The benefits of a geriatric massage are enormous, effecting nearly every part of the body to some degree or another. Caution must be exercised in order not to be too rough and cause pain, however a qualified geriatric message therapist will be trained in just exactly the right methods.
Addendum March 2015
Some people have asked me if it is ok to buy a regular back massager. Yes, it is, as long as you are careful with the intensity settings. I’d still recommend saving up for touch massages, because touch is especially important for the elderly, who are often deprived of it!