Geriatric Massage Technique

Geriatric massage is a form of massage intended to meet the specific needs of the aged people. It makes use of hands to direct the soft tissues of the body to build up blood circulation, reduces pain, and boosts range of action. Active or inactive movement of the joints may also be part of geriatric massage.

Old people often undergo a variety of age-related diseases as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. As a result, they have poor blood circulation and partial physical activity. Many of them also suffer from anxiety, sadness and isolation. Geriatric massage helps them to get back physical and mental relieve to touch-deprived aged patients.

Benefits of Geriatric Massage

Geriatric massage offers the following benefits.

  • Increase in blood circulation, thus preventing complications of diabetes as leg ulcers or gangrene.
  • Improvement in lymphatic flow, which increases the emission of toxic Substances from the body.
  • Reduction of headache and pain.
  • Speeding up of healing from injury and illness.
  • Partial reinstallation of mobility, lost due to Parkinson’s disease or arthritis.
  • Mental and physical relaxation.
  • Improvement in span and quality of sleep.
  • Relief of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
  • Improvement of the patient’s quality of life and self-esteem.

Technique used in Geriatric Massage

  • Small sessions. A geriatric massage sitting usually lasts no longer than 30 minutes, as a longer session may be too much for an aged person.
  • Use of mild hand motions. These motions are stress-free and calming to the body. They are designed to improve blood circulation and heart function, prevent diabetic complications, relieve muscle tension, and relax the body and the mind.
  • Reflexive movement and moderate stretching of shoulders, legs and feet to recover joint mobility and flexibility.
  • Mild massaging of the hands and feet (if the joints are not inflamed) to prevent stiffness and relieve pain.
  • Rare use of stronger actions such as friction and pressure strokes. These are sometimes used to massage such areas as the shoulders to develop flexibility.

Safety measures to be maintained in Geriatric Massage

Geriatric massage should not be used as a substitute for exercise programs or medical treatment in nursing homes. In addition, it should not be given to elderly patients with the following circumstances

  • Certain kinds of cancer
  • Broken bones or body areas that is reddened, swollen or injured
  • Open or unhealed bed sores
  • Drug treatment with blood
  • Severe acute pain
  • Certain heart situation
  • Recent surgery
  • Varicose veins

Side effects of Geriatric Massage

Geriatric massage is very mild and infrequently causes unpleasant effects. More dynamic forms of massage, however, have been related with bleeding in such vital organs as the liver or with the creation of blood clots.