Many health issues spring up when one gets to a certain age, like 60 and above. Examples of such problems are poor sleep habits, poor posture, joint pain, and reduced immunity. The good news is that massage therapy can provide significant health improvement and benefits like treating cancer, improving mental health, improving sleep, etc.
The medical term for this is called Geriatric massage. It is a modified form of massage. The techniques are adjusted to suit age-related health issues like joint pain, poor circulation, and other matters peculiar to old age.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy involves applying pressure on several parts of the body, like the skin, tendons, muscle, and ligaments, to provide relief. Massage therapists do this with gentle strokes and the application of light pressure to specific body parts.
Massage therapy is helpful in the treatment of various conditions like anxiety, stress, and poor circulation of blood, injuries or strain to soft tissue, etc. This article sheds light on the health benefits of massage therapy for seniors, which are discussed below:
1. Improves Sleep
One of the effects of too much stress in the body is the creation of a heightened sense. When the reasons are hyperactive, relaxation will be difficult, which makes sleep pretty tricky. As a result, seniors struggle to get a reasonable sleep amount since old age comes with a disruption in the sleep cycle.
Massage therapy is pretty helpful in calming the hyperactive nerves and senses. This goes a long way to reduce stresses, tensions, and other disruptive issues that affect sleep like restless legs, headaches, etc. Regular massage therapy can go a long way to improve the massage’s effectiveness and the quality and length of sleep. Also, for better-relaxed sleep, you can try disposable vapes before bedtime.
2. It can Improve Balance
Growing old comes with many inevitable shortcomings, like an unbroken fall. This is not surprising as the vision, response time, and depth perception all take a hit, contributing to a high tendency to fall. When you also consider that the muscles and tendons have become rigid and the bones are now pretty fragile, it increases the risk of injury.
Massage therapy boosts the flow of blood to various body parts, especially the muscles, joints, and tendons, which improves proprioception – the sense of body parts relative to one another. This also improves balance by default. Coupled with other fall prevention strategies, massage therapy can reduce the risk of falling, which can strip seniors of their independence.
3. It provides support for Exercise
Keeping active is important for humans and becomes inevitable as we age. It can be as simple as brisk walking or something which involves a sudden gentle burst of energy like golf.
Exercise comes with severe benefits, both mental and physical, but we cannot rule out some side effects like fatigue, muscle strain, and excessive pain. Massage therapy comes in handy to take care of these side effects like tired muscles, aches, and fatigue. Since massage improves the flow of blood, the tendency of muscle recovery is pretty high.
Also, when seniors get regular massages, it can significantly improve their energy levels and overall quality of life.
4. It Can Ease Muscle Pain
Over the years, massage therapy has proven incredibly helpful in treating severe upper and lower back pain, including stiffness. As people grow old, there is a high tendency for the back muscles to be tensed, which can result in mobility issues for seniors.
A massage can help provide great relief from such pain since it triggers the release of endorphins in the body, a natural pain reliever. It can help relieve and soften overused muscles, which will come in handy in relieving migraines. Damaged body parts and muscles get an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen, which fosters healing.
5. It Can Improve Posture
As humans get old, coordination reduces, and the muscles lose their elasticity, which results in poor posture. This sets the stage for various forms of pain like back, muscle, and neck pain. When the lower back is stressed, there will be balance issues, encouraging falls and injuries.
Massage therapy will help reduce postural stress and boost posture. With good massage, the body can relax, which assists in the proper alignment of the body parts, thus the correct posture.
6. It Aids with Some Health Condition
There are two immune responses in the body: Th1 and Th2, which need to be balanced for the immune system to work at its best. There will be an autoimmune problem if one of the immune systems gets more than the other.
Massage also comes in handy to slow down the stress response and maintain balance. When you also consider that massage helps relieve pain, it can make several autoimmune conditions pretty manageable like dermatitis, type 1 diabetes, etc.
Also, some age-related illnesses are peculiar to old age, like arthritis, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. With massage, the pain reduces as blood flow increases and the muscles soften.
Seniors have a lot to gain from therapeutic massage since it comes with a series of health benefits. Therapeutic massage can be the ticket to a healthy old age free of age-related issues and sickness.
The health benefits of massage include relieving pain, improving blood flow, and reducing stress which can help address several issues peculiar to old age.