Top 5 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly

Date Posted:17 September 2018

Massage therapy is much more than a luxury treat; it can help improve blood circulation, increase energy and flexibility, strengthen the immune system, and much more.

‘It has been verified through scientific exploration that more than 80 percent of all diseases are due to stress and strain that originate in the mind and reflect on the body.’

 

 

“Everybody experiences stress,” says Sara Peckham, former long-time director of wellness at Judson and member of Judson’s board of directors. “It’s the body’s natural reaction to a stimulus or stressor that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. It’s also commonly known as our ‘fight or flight’ response.”

Here’s how stress can affect your body:

  • Increased heart rate and pulse
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia/Lack of sleep
  • Weakened immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Increase in cortisol production

Massage has been proven to decrease stress in the body and lessen the negative effects of anxiety, depression, and even digestive disorders.

Research conducted by the Mayo Clinic states, “Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension.”

“The benefits of massage therapy are wide-ranging,” says Anthony Lima, a licensed massage therapist at Judson. “From increasing blood flow to the limbs to supporting the body’s immune and nervous systems, massage is a versatile therapy.”

Here are top 5 benefits of massage therapy for seniors:

Increases blood flow

“Increasing circulation is the most important benefit for seniors,” says Lima, “Good circulation can become increasingly difficult as we age, and massage therapy really helps the blood to flow into the limbs.”

Reduce muscle tension

With aging, we generally become less active and so our muscles harden and become tighter. Massage helps to soften muscles and tissues by increasing blood flow to the areas and ultimately reducing overall muscle tension.

Enhance flexibility

When our aging muscles tighten due to inactivity, it’s important to help them relax. Massage therapy softens tight muscles and joints, enabling a wider range of motion in the activities of daily living.

Improve sleep

If you are suffering from insomnia or have disturbed sleeping patterns, massage is the perfect therapy. Massage can help ease pain and release muscle tension, helping you accomplish total relaxation that contributes to an undisturbed sleep.

Strengthen immunity

“In my experience, people who get massages get sick far less than people who don’t,” says Lima. “Massage releases a lot of toxins and greatly supports the functioning of the immune system.”

Including a regular massage in the healthcare regime of elderly people will provide a positive impact in their everyday life.