Getting a Massage for Relaxation or Therapy
As the baby boomer generation moves into its retirement years, people are living longer after retirement, and the senior population is increasing in numbers significantly. In response to the growth of this demographic, more massage therapists are focusing their practice on massage for the 65+ crowd. Not only can massage be enjoyed for pure relaxation purposes, but several studies have shown that targeted massage therapies can relieve symptoms of age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Why try massage?
The human body is designed to repair its injuries and ills, but as we age this process becomes less efficient. Although many of today’s retirees are able to remain healthy and active even into their nineties, eventually our aging bodies will experience a wide range of aches, pains, and other physical problems. Chronic pain and stiffness are not only physically draining, but can take an emotional toll as well, detracting from the quality of life and making it more difficult to enjoy our leisure time during our retirement years.
Despite the inevitability of aging, there are things you can do to reduce chronic aches and pains and improve flexibility, coordination, and muscular strength. Exercise is, of course, important, including weight-bearing exercise, cardio exercise, and flexibility training such as yoga – but regular massages can also benefit and improve your physical (and mental) well-being.
The practice of massage
Eastern cultures have traditionally viewed massage as a health treatment, similar to acupuncture, that will help to balance energies in the body. Today, massage is seen both as a physical therapy and as an enjoyable and relaxing leisure activity. Whether you get a massage for health and wellness purposes, or merely for a pleasurable experience, you will reap the many benefits: a calmed nervous system, improved mobility, increased circulation, and reduced muscle tension.
The healthful aftereffects of massage can be long-lasting, including enhanced sleep, improved coordination in activities of daily life, speedier recovery from injuries or some surgeries, increased vitality, and even improved breathing. A massage just feels good and puts you in a pleasant relaxed frame of mind.
- Increases circulation
- enhances the immune system
- promotes nervous system functioning
- reduces blood pressure
- relieves pain and muscle tension
- improves mood, intellectual reasoning and job performance
Seniors and massage
Although massage is generally useful for therapy, relaxation, and stress relief, there are some age-related conditions that may be exacerbated by certain types of massage. It is a good idea to talk with your physician before getting a massage, and to let your masseur know about any physical issues you are experiencing, and any changes in your health.
Massage benefits for seniors can be most important, since it can improve flexibility of muscles and joints which may help prevent falls. Improved circulation is another benefit getting a massage can help seniors with.
Tip: Some massage schools offer an hour massage as low as $25 using some of their more experience students. This can be a good affordable way to get a decent massage.