The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors
Did you know that 75-80% of Canadian seniors report having one or more chronic conditions? Aging comes with its own issues and one of them is the inability to perform certain activities in a way that you may have been able to when you were young.
As the body becomes infirm, it is unable to withstand the stress from everyday physical activities. However, there is a way you can still keep your body healthy through massage therapy.
From stroke recovery to improving balance, massage therapy provides plenty of benefits for seniors. Find out more about the benefits of massage therapy and how it can be effective for you.
Removes Muscle Stiffness and Tension
Seniors are often unable to perform a lot of physical activities as their body starts to become infirm with the growing age. As a result, the muscles of the body tend to become stiff that prevent smooth movement of the body.
As well, due to the lack of exercise as we age, we tend to build muscle tension in the body. Muscles become harder and get tighter.
Massage helps to soften and reduce tension and stiffness on hard muscles and tissues by increasing blood flow into these areas.
Enhances Blood Circulation
Proper blood circulation is crucial for seniors as inadequate flow of blood can lead to many health issues that may get severe over time. Peripheral artery disease of the legs, blood clotting, and diabetes are some of the health complications that are caused due to poor blood circulation.
The circulation of blood can be irregular as we age and massage therapy helps to promote blood flow into the limbs. As massage therapy involves kneading, gentle stroking, and application of light pressure on various parts of the body, it helps in improving blood circulation in the body.
Our bones become infirm and they grow weaker and lose their strength as we age. As a result, falling becomes a major concern for seniors. Due to the weakness of the bones, it becomes difficult to maintain proper balance.
Massage therapy helps increase blood flow and also improves proprioception and the relative position of the body parts. This effect of massage therapy, in turn, helps in improving balance and reduces the risk of falling.
Reduces Pain of Arthritis
Massage therapy can be used to treat arthritis. While it can’t fully cure this condition, it helps in relieving joint pain.
With the help of various techniques used to remove the stiffness of muscles and tissues, massage therapy improves blood flow to the joints, which thereby relieves the pain caused by arthritis.
Combats Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Although depression isn’t an inevitable part of getting older it can happen during the life changes of aging – retirement, the death of a loved one, declining health.
Depression, stress, and anxiety can have a more severe effect on the elderly because of declined health. These conditions often exist in relation to other medical issues and disabilities and last longer than in younger populations.
Massage therapy helps in lowering cortisol levels in the body and increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters aid in stabilizing mood.
Seniors frequently experience a decrease in activity due to limited mobility. They may find themselves unable to engage in day-to-day activities or reluctant to leave the home due to their disabilities.
Because massage therapy reduces muscle tension and relieves stress, it enables seniors a wider range of motion in their daily activities.
Stimulates the Nervous System
The nervous system controls your boy’s movement, senses, thoughts, and memories as well as organs such as your heart and bowels. As you age, the brain and nervous system begin to slow down and waste products can collect in the brain tissue as nerve cells break down.
Massage therapy releases endorphins and neurotransmitters that are beneficial for the functioning of the nervous system. Therapeutic massage provides enormous benefits to the body by releasing brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
Eases Stroke Recovery
For those who have suffered from a stroke, there is a fear of triggering another one in the future. Many doctors recommend that seniors who experience a stroke move around as much as possible.
A major aid to this is massage therapy since it stimulates the affected areas. It also reduces the chance of suffering further strokes by focusing on areas that may suffer from paralysis in the future.
The relaxing benefits of massage therapy help to improve sleep in seniors. Many seniors complain about sleep disturbances or difficulty in achieving quality sleep.
As you get older, our sleep patterns and habits change. This may result in having trouble falling asleep, sleeping for fewer hours, waking up frequently in the night or early morning and getting less quality sleep. This can lead to health concerns such as an increased risk of falling and daytime fatigue.
Massage therapy can help to calm the body and induce a deeper sleep for seniors.
Specialized Massage Therapies for Seniors
Merging massage therapy with other relaxing and preventative measures helps to enhance its positive effects. It helps to eliminate the negative effects of stress on the body and enhance the healing process.
If you or a loved one are interested in massage therapy, consult your doctor and hire a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT). InHome Physical Therapy and Massage provides in-home massage therapy services in Edmonton and Calgary for seniors who are housebound.