Massage therapy is highly recommended for a number of conditions that afflict our older generations. Studies have shown that different types of massage can help with dementia related issues, relaxation for situational anxiety, joint mobilization, and pain management.
One study conducted by Suzuki, Tatsumi, etc in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias observes a greater reduction in aggressiveness and stress in elderly patients who received tactile massage. Dementia is a serious issue as we all age and can be stressful for both the patient and the caregivers. It affects a large portion of our senior citizens. Once it was thought to be a normal condition of growing older. It’s now viewed to be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions and to be preventable. Massage therapy for the elderly can be beneficial in many ways, including assisting with the management of these dementia symptoms. Massage is starting to be used in a number of elderly care facilities across the country to improve the lives of our senior citizens.
Another study done by Harris and Richards in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, showed improvements in physiological and psychological indicators of stress when slow massage of the back and hands were applied. Many of us are aware of the psychological effects of stress: irritability, anxiety, dramatic mood swings, and more. The physiological or physical indicators of stress are often ignored because they have internal effects on our body that we consider normal or expect our bodies to adapt. These indicators can include insomnia, weight changes, memory problems, and more. Generations now considered to be senior citizens or soon-to-be senior citizens, have experienced highly stressful lifestyles. It has certainly exposed them to an increase in stress-related health conditions. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease agitation and increase relaxation. It’s an excellent resource for its beneficial effects since many people also consider it an enjoyable experience and look forward to their next session.
There are additional studies reporting on the effects of massage therapy for various pain related conditions; including arthritis, cancer, and rheumatism. The number of senior citizens is increasing every year, as well as the life expectancy of all people. It is important to consider how we can best improve the quality of our lives during this years. Massage therapy is an important tool that many people should consider adding to the self-care plans; no matter what stage of life we are currently in.