No matter who you are, or what your age, massage feels great. Perhaps like no other profession, massage therapy provides benefits to a wide range of people. Of course, there are contraindications that need to be monitored, but generally speaking, young and old, healthy and ailing—most everyone gains from regular massage therapy sessions.
But with the growth of our senior population, it becomes increasingly important to acknowledge and value the impact massage, including massage chair treatments, can have for the elderly.
The Physical Impact of Aging
As we age, we tend to become less active. As our physical activity declines, reduction in body movement effects our health and the quality of our lives. Many suffer from chronic pain. The heart begins to enlarge, too, thickening and narrowing vascular walls, and sometimes causing an increase in blood pressure and a decrease in circulation.
According to Susan Salvo, a massage therapist with 27 years’ experience with massage and adult education, “Ninety percent of the elderly are reported to have at least one chronic medical condition, and the majority has multiple conditions.”
Aging impacts the brain, too. Along with physical impact, seniors are also susceptible to depression and other mental and psychological disorders including Alzheimer’s.
Aging Effects Families and Friends, Too
The loss of youthful “tone”—of mobility, of stamina and of mental clarity makes us vulnerable, and in turn, we may require more care from family members or professionals. Not only is our own quality of life diminished, therefore, but we are creating a financial burden for ourselves and a personal burden for loved ones. Our caretakers themselves are often at risk.
A massage chair provides a source of comfort, relaxation and healing, not only for seniors, but for the whole family.
It’s Different For the Elderly
Why might a massage chair be especially suitable for a senior? For chronic pain the benefits that come with having a massage chair are incalculable. During a massage session, not only the bones and muscles, but all the internal organs can be stimulated for a better functioning, especially important for people who suffer from chronic illnesses and hypertension. A senior can have a more pain-free life, available anytime on demand, in the home, with no transportation required.
Massage chair therapy also:
- Provides relaxation and comfort
- Enhances range of motion range by lubricating joints naturally
- Relieves arthritis pain
- Helps improve mental health
- Aids coordination and flexibility of muscles
- Improves blood circulation
- Enables longer and peaceful sleep
Match the Chair to the Person
It’s obvious that a senior might require a different kind of massage from a teenager. In fact, massage therapy is never one-size-fits-all. There is no “normal.” Two teens might have very different requirements. One seventy-year-old may be active and independent. Another, not so much.
In general, however, seniors might prefer less pressure. A chair that allows for a gentler touch and which can be adjusted to taste is best.
Not sure which chair is right for you? Chat with one of our massage experts today!
“Massage Therapy for Elderly.” Massage Guide, 28 Mar. 2018, bestmassagechairguide.com/massage-therapy-for-elderly/.
22, 2011 February. “The Aging Body | Massage Therapy Journal.” The Aging Body | Massage Therapy Journal – American Massage Therapy Association, 22 Feb. 2011, www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/2315/massage-and-the-aging-body.
“Best Massage Chair Brands in 2016-2017 -Making the Right Choices.” Best Massage Chairs Reviews 2018 -2019, 25 Aug. 2014, bestmassagechairsreviews.com/best-massage-chair-brands-in-2016-2017/.