The past two decades have seen the massage therapy industry come a long way. Where previously therapists would offer mostly traditional Swedish massage to athletes or fitness enthusiasts, nowadays masseurs complete training modules and courses for work with special groups ranging from infants and pregnant ladies, to seniors and care home residents. While in the United States massage is already seen as a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, here in the UK therapists still battle the notion that massage is a treat or an indulgence.
Although we are generally living longer, looking after our health is vital if we want to enjoy those last years in relatively good health. Having regular massages in our younger and older years can go a long way towards alleviating the symptoms of many age-related diseases. Even a gentle massage positively affects the circulation of blood and lymph, bringing relief to cold hands and feet, while the calming effect on the recipient’s nervous system promotes a sense of wellbeing, a better quality of sleep and an improved mental outlook.
A therapist’s work with the elderly population can include senior marathon runners who can benefit from an hour long sports massage, but often the client is a more frail person simply wishing to relieve the pain and stiffness in their joints. In such cases, a half an hour of gentle massage, ideally every week, would be beneficial.
It is quite common for the elderly who live alone to not see or speak to another human being for days, so the social interaction with their familiar therapist is of great value. Loneliness and isolation can be very difficult to cope with so remember your elderly relatives and give them a gift of massage with a qualified therapist.