If you’re a senior citizen, it’s not uncommon for you to experience pain and stiffness in your muscles and joints, especially following more vigorous-than-usual physical activity. Massage therapy helps reduce inflammation-related pain around your joints, which promotes the restoration of your full range of joint motion. Improved range of motion can enhance your ability to ambulate and perform your activities of daily living, which in turn can lead to increased independence and a higher quality of life.
The Mayo Clinic reports that improved circulation is one of the principle benefits of massage therapy. Healthy circulation of blood and lymph is especially important if you are a senior citizen, as you may be more susceptible to decreased circulation. Reduced circulation is particularly problematic if you are a diabetic, as you are prone to lower limb problems due to reduced blood flow to the tissues of your lower legs and feet. Regular massage therapy, in conjunction with an appropriate exercise plan, can help you prevent diabetic complications in your lower extremities. An additional benefit of massage therapy is the improved lymph flow throughout your body. Improved circulation of both lymph and blood can help you recover more quickly following injuries, and it can also boost your energy levels.
According to a 2010 study about massage therapy and health outcomes in older adults, published in the “Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies,” those who received massage therapy within the past year produced significantly higher health outcome scores in the following categories: emotional well-being, limitations due to physical issues and limitations due to emotional issues. Massage therapy can help you by reducing your anxiety, depression, stress and loneliness, and can improve your self-confidence and enhance your quality of life. The sense of companionship you derive from a visit to your massage therapist is also an important healing effect of massage therapy. Human touch can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
By: Jenny Nickerson, LMT
Certified Neuromuscular Therapist
Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist