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Massage Therapy Provides Important Benefits for the Elderly

Massage therapy provides many benefits besides the nurturing touch to the skin, our largest organ.  Gentle, purposeful, and directed strokes to the body get blood and lymph fluids moving along, open energetic transmission pathways, loosen tight and spasming muscle fibers, and improve range of motion and posture.  When we overwork our bodies, these benefits get us back to our optimal best quite quickly.

For older folks, especially those who may live alone or who are fairly inactive, regular massage is extremely beneficial.  As we age, many of our systems slow down.  Often older people suffer from dehydration which further slows the transmission of fluids and vital nutrients to all cells of the body.  Many conditions may be bothersome to older folks, like arthritis, achy joints, gastrointestinal disorders, balance issues, and possibly diminished vision and hearing, all contributing to a loss of self confidence.

Massage therapy provides an opportunity for helping elders get back in touch with the vital sensations of their bodies and to feel nurtured and cared for.  It accelerates the removal of normal cellular wastes that can cause fatigue and malaise when backed up from a person being more sedentary.  It also offers the therapist the opportunity to check the condition of the skin and to look for any abnormalities.

Many of my elder clients report they feel more energized and alert and the quality of their sleep improves.  Digestion often improves and pain sensations diminish.  They begin to feel “like their old selves” again.

The power of purposeful nurturing touch cannot be overstated.  Too often our older folks become confined in rooms or homes and seldom get to enjoy the fresh outdoors during the seasons, to interact with a variety of people of all ages, and to keep themselves busy with hobbies and activities.  Massage therapy is just one way to assist our older folks to begin to feel alive and get moving again, which in fact they do as their health improves with the many benefits massage therapy provides.

As the new year hurries forward, I recommend the gift of massage for our older loved ones.  It is a gift that keeps on giving by improving health and well being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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