Heart and Soul Bodywork
33 Wentworth Avenue East, Suite #240 West St. Paul, Minnesota 55118

The Power of Touch

How Massage Therapy can Positively Impact Senior Citizens

The importance of touch for older adults cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in promoting physical and mental health.

The 'untouched' years of seniors are often marked by isolation and loneliness, with many elderly individuals, feeling disconnected from society and lacking physical touch.  Seniors find themselves living alone or in nursing homes leading to feelings of isolation and depression.  Receiving regular and caring touch, such as massage therapy, can provide relaxation, comfort and the feeling that they are not alone.

Many individuals have faced emotional trauma and stress, so the power of touch can also serve as a transformative healer in these situations.

 As we age, it is natural for our physical and mental health to change. That doesn't mean we should accept feelings of uselessness and disconnection as an inevitable part of the aging process. Aging is a natural process that affects us all differently, but it is crucial to acknowledge it's mpact on our health and well-being.

Massage therapy alleviates depression by providing Comfort through touch, which is especially important when an individual has been deprived of it.

The power of human touch through massage therapy triggers a biochemical reaction that releases endorphins, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in seniors and improve behavioral symptoms and clients with dementia.

Massage Therapy places a focus on the musculoskeletal system, which  soothes rigid muscles and unyielding joints, which offers a significant reprieve from the discomforts of aging, injury, or chronic pain conditions. The therapy not only helps to soften those tough spots but also increases blood flow, which plays a crucial role in pain relief and healing. A licensed massage therapist is trained to identify problem areas and adjust their technique accordingly to maximize Mobility improvements for seniors on or off the table.

By incorporating massage therapy into their care, senior adults or those who care for them can help improve their overall quality of life.

Some other benefits of massage therapy for seniors:

1  increase flexibility and range of motion:  By utilizing massage therapy to relax aging muscles that have tightened due to inactivity, it helps with flexibility and range of motion.

2.  Easing muscle  and joint pain.:  Massage for the elderly involves a thorough understanding of the human body and its various systems, particularly relaxation and reduce discomfort.

3.  Helps manage chronic pain: Chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia can significantly impact seniors' quality of life. Massage Therapy complements conventional pain management strategies, and research shows it can effectively reduce pain associated with arthritis and muscle soreness after physical activity.

4.  Improve circulation: Massage therapy can improve circulation by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, which can  reduce discomfort and aid in relaxation.

5.  Arthritis pain relief: Arthritis, a common illness among older adults, involves inflammation and sensitization of joints, leading to significant pain and discomfort. Massage therapy, while unable to cure arthritis entirely, can help alleviate symptoms by releasing built up muscle tension and providing a convenient alternative for stimulation.

6.  Mental well-being: Understanding the connection between massage therapy and mental health is crucial, especially for older adults, as it can have a profound impact on their overall well-being. The impact of touch not only soothes but also deeply heals from within, making it an important tool for managing stress and other mental health issues. For those dealing with Alzheimer's disease, therapeutic massage has been shown to decrease stress significantly, highlighting its potential as a complimentary therapy for this condition.

7.  Better sleep patterns: Sleep disturbances are a common problem for the elderly, negatively impacting their overall health. Massage therapy sessions promote relaxation and tension release, resulting in improved sleep quality. Seniors who receive regular massages experience more restful nights and increased daytime alertness.

8.  Improves balance: Falling is a major concern for seniors as aging can lead to weaker bones and poor posture. By increasing blood flow to the limbs and other areas that help with upright posture, massage can improve proprioception and balance, reducing the likelihood of falling.

9.  Boost immune system: To avoid illnesses and infections, seniors need a strong immune system. Massage therapy enhances immune/boosting cell production, which improves the body's defense mechanisms. This is especially important in advanced age.

10.  Stimulation of the digestive system:  Colon constipation is a common and frustrating issue that many seniors face, but massage therapy has been shown to be a remarkable solution. By stimulating muscle movement, massage therapy can enhance the digestive system, make it easier to go to the bathroom. In fact, studies have shown that elderly who receive massage sessions on a weekly basis tend to have a better digestive health and fewer issues with constipation.

Massage therapists often customize techniques to accommodate the individual needs and conditions of older adults, incorporating gentle strokes, kneading, and stretching while considering the potential frailty and sensitivities of Aging bodies, thereby ensuring a safe and comfortable experience. My massage practice takes that approach a step further by incorporating foot and hand reflexology, comfort massage, and pressure points as part of my non-invasive, gentle massage techniques to promote overall well-being and healing.

Massage therapy has been a valuable asset for a senior citizens, helping them manage and overcome various physical health issues and providing a sense of relief and comfort due to the hormonal release it triggers. To further amplify the positive impact of Massage therapy, I offer a range of complementary practices, including  Qi Gong, acupressure, stretching, and breathing techniques, all of which can be combined with massage therapy to provide a holistic approach to health and wellness and ensure a rewarding experience for my clients.

Consult your doctor first to make sure there are no risks in massage therapy based on your existing health conditions. The information provided is intended for information purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice.

For more information, contact Sharon Madison, Licensed and Board Certified in  Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, at Heart and Soul Bodywork. Phone number  (651) 399-6645.  You can call or text me to set up a massage appointment and I will come to your home.   Seniors only.  Exception:  Senior caregivers are also included. 

Also, I have a massage office if you would prefer to come and see me at my location.

There’s music in water. Brooks babbling, fountains splashing. Weirs, waterfalls, tumbling, gushing.”

- Julie Andrews

"Life is like a waterfall - always moving"