Massage Beneficial For The Elderly
A gentle massage can help boost circulation, ease stress and relieve pain in the elderly, the Chicago Tribune reports. According to several studies, the elderly can be positively affected in a variety of ways simply by human touch.
“Just like at the beginning of life, when you’re not touched, you don’t thrive,” massage therapist Dawn Nelson told the Tribune. Nelson is the creator of the program “Compassionate Touch For Those in Later Life Stages,” and has long said that massage can improve overall quality of life in elderly patients.
A 1998 study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that even giving massages could improve quality of life for seniors. Elderly people who massaged infants at frequent intervals gradually experienced less stress, improved mood and fewer trips to the doctor, the Tribune said.
Unfortunately, however, it is the elderly who are receiving the least amount of touch. According to Sharon Puszko, owner of the Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute, elderly people spend most of their time alone.
“There’s a lot of isolation involved when you’re no longer working or driving,” Puszko said. “There are lots of people who are alone, whose grandchildren are grown and aren’t in town to give kisses.”