Benefits of Massage as People Age

March 07, 2018
 

More and more people over age 55 are discovering the health benefits of regular massage therapy, according to Krystal Newton, massage therapy director for NorthBay HealthSpring Fitness.

In the past year, about 9 million people age 55 and older received a total of 39 million massages, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Most were for medical purposes.

As people age, they often start to slow down and may get overtaken by chronic conditions such as arthritis or other age-related illnesses, said Krystal. Sometimes old injuries can start to cause problems as well.  

“Working with clients that are 50 and older has taught me how the process of aging can have both physical and mental effects on an individual and how massage can play such a pivotal role in assisting with both,” said Krystal. Although everyone ages on a different time clock aging is a natural process and any number of complications can arise. Some of the common ailments Krystal stated she’s seen are arthritis, disc degeneration, mental/emotional distress, muscle fatigue, loss of circulation, and coordination, stroke and cancer survivors..There are a host of benefits that a gentle yet stimulating massage can provide, no matter what the ailment might be.”

Some of the physical benefits of massage include an increase in blood circulation for those concerned with edema and overall poor circulation. Loss of coordination resulting in falls is not uncommon throughout the aging process. Massage serves as a preventative measure by loosening areas where muscles are tight. The areas that were once restricted are now free, further correcting  faulty movement patterns, contributing to more support and balance within the frame.

Arthritis and overall joint pain is a common complaint while aging. With gentle stretches and joint mobilizing techniques, inflammation and pain decreases while joint mobility increases. Patients can gain an increased range of motion by gentle manipulation of joints, soft tissue, and muscles.

Although some people don’t experience pain on a physical level, there are those who are mentally and emotionally unwell. One of the key components to living the latter stages of life happy and healthy is to maintain social connections.  Once a person’s social circle begins to diminish, feelings of isolation and loneliness can set in which can take a major toll on a person’s mental/emotional health.

“In a majority of my sessions I’ve noticed that my clients just want someone to talk to and to actually be heard,” said Krystal. “For them, massage is a form of therapy. Massage has been proven to assist in combating depression and anxiety by decreasing cortisol levels and increasing the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins. This provides individuals with a sense of relaxation and social interaction. “I have clients who report an overall state of well-being and higher quality of sleep following regular massages,” said  Krystal. “Not only is their tension released on a physical level but they are able to de stress mentally and emotionally.”

Krystal points to an 85-year-old client with extreme neck pain and a chronic bone disease.

“After reading about the benefits of massage therapy, and with a little help from family and friends, she was desperately hoping I could rid her of her pain,” she said. “What was supposed to be a 25-minute session turned into an hourlong treatment filled with storytelling. She expressed how grateful she was to have someone who cares. I followed up after a couple days and she told me how much relief she felt and how she was able to get some of the best sleep she’s had in a while.”

While aging can be daunting, the right support and help from trusted bodywork professionals can provide patients with a greater sense of wellbeing and relief from pain, said Krystal.

 

Tags: Your Wellness

Comments

 
  1. August 26, 2018 at 12:00
     

    Yes massages are for everyone! Sure as you are it's still very beneficial on a regular routine! I love them! ❤

     
  2. April 16, 2018 at 12:00
     

    Amazing post, Really good to read.

     
  3. April 16, 2018 at 12:00
     

    Very nice post. Massage therapy gives lots of health benefits like pain relief, stress relief, blood circulation etc.

     
  4. John
    March 26, 2018 at 12:00
     

    I have found the site very informative! I only recently came upon it, and wish I’d seen it sooner. It does a great job of pulling different topics/disciplines/perspectives — something unique and valuable here. Thanks — hope you keep it up!

     
  5. March 15, 2018 at 12:00
     

    Amazing post i really like it.

     
 

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