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Massage & the Elderly: What We Can Learn

Senior Citizen Massage Benefits

One of the things I love most about my job as a massage therapist is helping my patients reap the many benefits of massage. In a lot of my patients’ cases, I have the honor of helping them regain their mobility, independence and confidence—all through the healing power of massage.

I see these things in action especially when I work with senior citizens. I visit senior communities to treat the elderly and those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease multiple times during the month. And through my work there, I’ve discovered a few profoundly important things about massage that apply to anyone of any age.

Relieving the Stress of Aging for the Elderly

Something we don’t think enough about in regards to the elderly is the fact that there are unique stresses that can come with aging. I’ve found that massage therapy can help relieve that stress and resulting tension.

For some, loss of independence can be a difficult adjustment. Massage can help by increasing energy and mobility, allowing the client to remain as active and independent as possible.

For others, the increasing feeling of loneliness and depression can be overwhelming. Massage offers senior citizens a nurturing experience that leaves them feeling cared for and pampered.

Overall, I’ve noticed that senior citizens’ bodies respond quickly to massage, which is why they can benefit so greatly from it. They relax quickly and tight areas loosen up fairly easily compared to some of my younger patients, resulting in a happier, more positive mindset, which is a benefit in and of itself.

The Health Benefits of Massage for the Elderly

I’ve outlined the benefits of massage many times before, but I think some benefits are especially helpful for senior citizens.

Those benefits include:

  • Increased circulation helps speed healing from injuries and surgeries
  • Helps with arthritis by reducing pain and increasing circulation which helps with joint lubrication
  • Improves posture and coordination by relieving muscle tension

Many times after their massages, elderly patients say things like “It is much easier to move now” or “I can stand up straighter” because the massage has warmed up the muscles and increased their circulation.

With a regular regimen of massage therapy, I’ve noticed vast improvements in the health and mobility of senior citizens. One regular client was on blood pressure medication when he started his weekly massages. After a while, his blood pressure went down enough to be off the medication. He attributed it to the massages since he had not changed anything else about his lifestyle. Obviously, massage therapy is not a guarantee for better health—but the results I’ve seen are indeed remarkable.

Suzanne Schaper

Suzanne Schaper is a Board Certified Massage Therapist in Overland Park, KS. She loves nothing more that sharing her knowledge for health and wellness with her clientele. "A life free of pain and disease is a more full life." Suzanne enjoys assisting her clients in their pursuit of health and happiness.

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