Geriatric Massage Techniques
The technique of massage for seniors does not differ much from the usual massage for adults. However, the techniques used must take into account the fact that an ageing body requires special attention. Specially trained geriatric masseurs are aware that an ageing body, compared to that of a healthy 30-year-old, must be positioned carefully on the massage table.
Great care is taken when positioning an older client, and once on the massage table, the senior will rarely be asked to change position, as is the case with other types of massage.
Senior massage sessions usually last between 30 minutes and an hour. However, when mobility is an issue, such as with a client in a wheelchair, the therapist will have to adapt to the conditions, and the massage may last longer. For the wheelchair client example, the therapist will perform the massage without the client leaving the chair.
Geriatric masseurs will spend most of their time massaging the hands and feet of their clients – especially if the client no longer has full use of their hands or legs. In such cases, a foot or hand massage can improve body sensitivity and increase sensation and circulation in certain parts of the ageing body.
The Benefits of Geriatric Massage
Geriatric massage has many benefits. As usual, massage promotes circulation, reduces muscle stiffness and helps to alleviate inflammation in the joints.
However, it also treats many typical ageing conditions: muscle stiffness, arthritis, skin discolouration, bone and muscle deterioration, tendonitis, bursitis, and respiratory problems such as asthma and emphysema.
In addition, enjoying the simple pleasure of human contact and having company for a while is invaluable to many depressed and lonely older people. A massage done with care can help the elderly relieve their aches and pains and increase their vitality.