Spruce Up Your Senior Years with Massage Therapy

Suddenly everyone is getting massage therapy, and bragging about how it takes away their pain, makes them more flexible and just makes them feel better.  Massage therapy can help many people, especially with muscle stiffness and pain which as you get older becomes more and more debilitating.  The therapist will work on stiff and sore spots releasing tension, in some cases even releasing sore spots that have lingered for years.

Massage helps relieve pain in damaged muscles by sending anti-inflammation messages to muscle cells. Athletes have long sought massages to relieve pain and promote recovery. Despite reports that long-term massage therapy reduces chronic pain such as back pain, the biological effects of massage on muscles weren’t known.

Now scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton have found evidence at the cellular level that massage blunts muscle pain in a similar way to anti-inflammatory pills. Now you can use this natural effect on your own muscles at any point in your life when you need it.

People that suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain often find relief as years of bad posture, heavy lifting, working and sitting over a computer suddenly cause intense pain and discomfort in your later years.  This discomfort and pain, which can keep you from important things like golf, family and interrupt sleep should be fixed if possible.  With the increasing availability of clinics though how do you choose?

For many people finding the time to fit in massage is another stressor, driving to and from an appointment and getting child care can all conspire to keep us from taking care of ourselves in a natural, sustaining way. Jill Burk who owns and operates Health Span which is a clinic that mostly does house calls and specializes in working with Seniors has some advice.

  • when booking your appointment tell them your concerns, ask if they have experience dealing with your type of issue, if you have Parkinson’s for example you don’t want to have to tell your therapists what that is
  • if you feel unsafe or unappreciated by the therapist try someone different
  • if you do have trouble driving ask your therapist if they can come to you and if there will be an extra charge.
  • Ask about the products they use. How natural are they?

Studies have shown that massage is effective in decreasing pain, both from long term injuries, as well as decreasing pain, and the amount of medication patients need after surgery.  Also, because massage releases the so called feel good hormones endorphins and serotonin, it can be effective in treating moderate depression, anxiety and stress.

Health Span is dedicated to bringing the healing power of massage to wherever it is needed by offering an in home service. This allows seniors, mothers at home and others who may be self-conscious to enjoy the benefits of a professional massage. This is especially valuable to seniors.

Massage for the elderly has various physical and mental benefits, which results in the improvement of health and general well-being. The techniques used for senior citizens differ greatly from those used with younger individuals so massage therapists strive to understand those differences in order to better treat their patients.

Massage for the elderly involves gentle stroking, kneading, and the application of light pressure on specific points. Studies by the Touch Research Institute shows that massage facilitates communication and relaxation, and is therefore an effective therapy in the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. The manipulation of specific points on the body has also been shown to promote the natural lubrication of joints, greatly assisting in the pain management of patients suffering from the stiffness of arthritis. Therapists administering massage for senior citizens are also trained to incorporate stretching in the massage session.

The specific stretching technique involves the application of just enough pressure on the joints, soft tissue, and muscles to make the massage safe for an older individual while still retaining its efficacy. Patients greatly benefit from massage by gaining an increased range of motion, strengthening of muscles while reducing tension, and a higher quality night’s sleep. Those who undergo regular massage have reported sleeping deeper and for longer, which allows the body time to regenerate and repair itself, resulting in an overall state of greater well-being. Massage also improves posture and reduces tension that accumulates in the muscles over many years. This not only assists seniors in obtaining higher quality rest but also helps them avoid and manage painful age-related conditions, such as degenerative disc disorder and spinal stenosis.

There are an increasing number of seniors embracing Massage Therapy as a way to increase their quality of life.  If you think that if might help you, call Your Health Span:



7711 Macleod Trail SW.

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