What is Senior Massage?
Also known as Elder Massage, this specialized form of massage is appropriate for many seniors. Deeply restorative and relaxing, it can significantly relieve aches, pains, and stiffness, as well as many health conditions associated with aging. As the U.S. demographic shifts to an older population, it’s important to find ways of helping our elders maintain their health and vitality. Massage for seniors is gaining importance as an alternative therapy to increase quality of life.
By providing a caring touch, massage can provide create a sense of reassurance and intimacy, especially for those who may feel isolated or who would like to feel a deeper sense of connection and relaxation. Senior massage draws from many massage modalities and techniques are modified and adapted to each person’s unique health needs. Certified as a Massage Therapist in 1999, and specializing in senior massage since 2004, Cait studied this special form of massage at the Daybreak Institute of Geriatric Massage in Washington.
Some of the Benefits of Massage include:
• Improved blood circulation
• Easing of anxiety, depression and stress
• Deep relaxation
• Improved lymph flow
• Pain relief
• Restoration of range of motion in joints
• Enhanced immune function
• Deeper and more restful sleep
• Improvement in mental and physical energy levels
These benefits are especially vital to seniors who are relatively sedentary and must cope with chronic health problems and emotional losses. For those with Type 2 Diabetes or other threats to the circulatory system, massage can make a major contribution to maintaining health and mobility.
Physicians and other Health-care practitioners are themselves making increasing use of massage. Health care providers surveyed by AMTA rated massage best among a variety of forms of alternative medicine, with 74 percent saying they believed massage was “always” or “usually” effective. Seniors who asked their doctors about massage found that almost two-thirds encouraged or strongly recommended massage.
Contact Cait: firstname.lastname@example.org (510)881-3803
Cait specializes in offering massage to seniors throughout Alameda County. Passionate about her work, her clientele is diverse and includes a wide range of people including active seniors, those recovering from injuries or surgeries as well as seniors who are frail or home-bound.
Cait also facilitates ‘hands-on’ holistic self-care classes for groups of seniors at local assisted living facilities. Download a flyer or contact Cait directly if you are interested in experiencing a group class.
Many conditions associated with aging can benefit from massage:
• Inflammation and stiffness in the joints
• Tendonitis, Arthritis or Bursitis
• Asthma or breathing problems
• Deteriorating muscle tone
• High blood pressure
The Weaver’s Tale Retreat Center in Oregon recently conducted a 2-year study examining the effects of massage therapy for seniors. At least 50% of seniors tested showed reduction in rates of breathing, increase in range of motion, improvement of postures, and development of more body awareness. Skintone took on healthier colors and muscle tone was enhanced. The same study also showed that 100% of the seniors who were tested showed a dramatic improvement in their moods and their attitudes toward life in general.
Read a recent online interview with Cait about Senior Massage.
Cait is currently a student of ‘Healing Touch’ and incorporates this modality into her work. Healing Touch is a biofield or energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to support and facilitate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. This modality can be especially helpful for anyone going through chemotherapy or when massage is no longer an effective option. Healing Touch Research has been conducted in a wide variety of settings and with a number of different problems and situations including:
• Cardio-vascular disease
• Death and dying
• Endocrine/Immune function
• Patient satisfaction and experience
• Post operative recovery
Getting a Massage: What to expect
An initial phone consultation will help to identify issues and specific needs and whether a doctor’s note will be required for any health conditions. Massage is generally conducted on a comfortable massage table and clients remain clothed or partially clothed. If a person has limited mobility, extra care is taken during positioning on the massage table. Seniors who use wheelchairs or who may be bedridden can receive massage treatments while seated in their chairs or reclining in their beds. Most massage sessions are one hour in length.
Sometimes massage can be contra-indicated for certain heart conditions, some inflammatory conditions, osteoporosis, varicose veins, thrombosis, and some skin conditions. If a client has severe health or certain medical issues, it will be necessary to seek a doctor’s approval to ensure that massage is safe and will be beneficial.