Geriatric Massage is massage geared to those of us who are elderly and therefore have specific requirements, or for whom certain massage strokes and techniques may be contraindicated. As we like to say to anyone that we come in contact with, “You are NEVER too old to benefit from massage.” Most often, gentle gliding strokes, called effleurage, are recommended in geriatric massage. The goal of geriatric massage is to increase circulation without causing unnecessary friction. Gentle passive stretching techniques are also used to improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and improving mobility.
Benefits of Geriatric Massage
In our experience, one of the most important benefits of massage for an elderly client is simply the touch. Many of us take for granted the physical contact that we receive on a regular basis from our children, parents, spouses, etc. The elderly, on the other hand, especially when they are in nursing homes, or even under Hospice care, often don’t receive the physical attention and nurturing that they require. It is surprising what a one-hour massage can do to a touch-deprived individual.
Is Massage Safe at My Age
While age alone may not dictate the proper massage technique that should be used, it is safe to say that as we age certain transformations due take place within our bodies. For example, many elderly (and not so elderly) people are on blood thinners or have thin skin that bruises easily. Deep tissue massage would not only be uncomfortable, but it could be dangerous. It is always a good idea to check with the doctor before receiving a massage regardless of age, but it is a must if you are elderly. Please, always be sure to take the time to thoroughly fill out the intake questionnaire that your therapist provides, and if he or she doesn’t inquire of your health or medical history, you should immediately look for a new therapist. While massage therapists are not legally permitted to diagnose or treat medical conditions, they do require a full understanding of your medical history so that they do not aggravate an existing condition and so that they may make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If you think geriatric massage is for you, please call us to schedule your appointment.