What is a Geriatric Massage: It is a form of massage specially designed to meet the exact needs of the elderly population. It involves the use of hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the human body to improve blood flow, alleviate pain, and increase range of motion. Active or passive evolution of the joints can also be part of geriatric massage.
Many times old people often suffer from an array of such accumulated diseases as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease. As a result, they have poor blood flow can help them maintain and improve their overall health, as well as recoup certain physical functions that have been reduced or lost due to aging. In addition, it can assuage anxiety and depression and provide comfort to touch-destitute elderly patients.
Origins of geriatric massage
Modern massage techniques were brought into the United States from Sweden in the 1850s.Their massage technique was invented by a Swedish fencing instructor. When he was injured in the elbows, he reportedly cured himself using tapping movements around the affected area. He later developed the technique currently known as geriatric massage. This massage technique involves the application of long gliding strokes, agitation, kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body. Passive or active joint movements are also used in this massage.
Description of what is a geriatric massage
As per the doctors opinion geriatric massage uses the same basic massage techniques as general massage. It is, however, bespoke to the specific health conditions and needs of the elderly population. Below are the some characteristics of Geriatric massage:
- Massage done by passive movement and gentle stretching of shoulders, legs and feet to improve joint mobility and affability.
- Intermittent use of stronger movements such as agitation and pressure strokes. These are sometimes used to massage such areas as the shoulders to improve docility.
- Short massage sessions. A geriatric massage session usually lasts no longer than 45 minutes, as a longer session may be too much for an elderly person.
- Gentle massaging of the hands and feet to prevent rigidity and relieve pain.
- Doctors may use of gentle hand motions. These motions are comfortable and soothing to the body. They are designed to improve blood flow and heart function, prevent diabetic complications, relieve muscle stress, and relax the body and the mind.
Benefits of geriatric massage
- An elderly person can get mental and physical relaxation.
- Due to this massage increases blood circulation, thus preventing such complications of diabetes as leg ulcers or gangrene.
- By this massage improvement of the patient’s quality of life and self-esteem.
- Relief of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
- It helps to improve in lymphatic flow, which increases the excretion of toxic substances from the body.
- It helps to improve in length and quality of sleep
- Speeding up of healing from injury and illness.
Side Effects of geriatric massage
In our opinion geriatric massage is very gentle and rarely causes detrimental effects. More intense forms of massage, however, have been associated with bleeding in such vital organs as the liver or with the formation of blood clump.
Precautions of geriatric massage
Geriatric massage should not be used as a replacement for exercise or medical treatment in nursing cabin. Moreover to all this, it should not be given to elderly patients with the following conditions:
- Undergone recent surgery
- Have certain heart condition
- Have broken bones or body areas that are inflamed, swollen
- Having severe acute pain
- Drug treatment with blood thinners
General acceptance of geriatric massage
As you know geriatric massage is gaining acceptance in the medical association. It is being prescribed to elderly patients to improve blood flow and relieve arthritic syndrome. It is sometimes prescribed for Parkinson’s disease patients to help improve flexibility. While most of the patients have to pay for this service, some insurance companies do reimburse prescribed massage treatment.
Disclaimer: Above information is written with best of our knowledge after much research and for your information only. Please consult your doctor before any kind of steps taken regarding this therapy.