All you need to know about geriatric massage

Frail bodies, weak body systems and added to that numerous degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes or heart disease; this is what marks the old age in many individuals who have not been health conscious in the younger phases of their lives.

geriatric massage

This also leads to a blood flow in their body and a restricted physical activity. Anxiousness, depression and loneliness also affect many elderly. If a touch can benefit them in regaining some of their physical strength along with reducing their stress, then it is the best thing that can be done for them. Geriatric massage is a form of massage which not only helps them in maintaining and improving their overall health but also helps them in regaining some of the physical activities lost due to the effect of aging.

Geriatric massage is a widely accepted massage technique in the medical communities around the world. The massage is reasonably priced and offers improvement in blood circulation and relief from arthritic symptoms.

What is it all about?
Geriatric massage is specifically intended to cater to the needs of the elderly population in the society. In this massage hands are used to manipulate the soft tissues of the body which helps them in improving and enhancing the blood circulation, release pain, and improve the range of flexibility and motion. It is also used to relieve the anxiety and depression experienced by the elderly by providing the much needed touch to the touch-deprived elderly patients. The geriatric massage provides comfort to the elderly.

The benefits of geriatric massage
Geriatric massage is the foremost way of offering love and support to the touch-deprived elderly. It has many physical benefits on the body of the elderly. The numerous benefits of the geriatric massage can be enumerated as follows:
1. It improves and increases the blood flow which then plays an instrumental role in preventing various complications associated with diabetes such as leg ulcers or gangrene.
2. It also improves the circulation of the lymphatic fluid which also helps in elimination of the toxic waste from the body.
3. Relief from headache and pain
4. Accelerating the rate of recovery from injury and illness
5. If there has been a loss in mobility owing to the presence of Parkinson’s disease or arthritis, geriatric massage helps in restoring the activity.
6. It provides mental and physical relaxation.
7. It improves and enhances the quality of sleep
8. It offers relief from stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness
9. There is a visible improvement in the quality of life and self-esteem of the patient

How is it done?
The massage technique used in giving geriatric massage is similar to that of general massage. The only specific feature of this massage is that it is intended to cater to and suit the needs of the clients with specific health conditions and needs of the elderly. The massage comprises of short duration sessions and does not last longer than 30 minutes. Sessions longer than 30 minutes may become uncomfortable for the elderly to bear. The hand motions used in the massage sessions are gentle and should be comfortable and soothing to the body. They are customized in a way to improve the circulation of the blood and the function of the heart, prevent diabetic complications, relieve tension in the muscles and offer physical as well as mental relaxation.

During the massage, passive movement and gentle stretching of the shoulders, legs and feet is carried out to improve the mobility of the joints and their flexibility as well. Gentle massage of the hands and feet is carried out to avoid any stiffness and alleviate pain. Sometimes, stronger movements involving friction and pressure strokes are needed to massage areas where there is a need to improve flexibility such as shoulders.

Are there any precautions needed?
One of the most significant and foremost thing to be kept in mind is that the geriatric massage is not a replacement for any medical treatment or an exercise program suggested by your physician. It is an adjunctive technique to offer help to the elderly. Some people should not be given geriatric massage such as;
1. those who have broken bones or body areas which are either swollen or are inflamed or bruised
2. open or unhealed bed sores
3. varicose veins
4. have undergone a recent surgery
5. severe acute pain
6. suffering with heart problems
7. have cancer
8. presence of blood clots as blood clots may move to the lungs due to the massage
9. Undergoing treatment with drugs which are blood thinner agents. The use of these medicines make the patients more prone to have bleeding under the skin

Are there any side effects of the geriatric massage?
The massage technique is very gentle and there have not been any major side effects associated with it so far. If the massage technique uses more vigorous form of massage then the patient may show bleeding in some vital organs of the body such as liver or with the formation of blood clots.

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