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August 20, 2007

Seniors Massage

Senior citizens (folks over age 65) are increasingly discovering the benefits of massage therapy on their comfort and wellbeing. For this population massage can decrease depression and anxiety. Massage also provides a healthy source of touch for a population whose physical contact with loved ones may be on the decline because of physical ailments. For this reason, senior or geriatric massage must be customized for the age-related health and mobility problems of this population.

"Just like everyone else, there are robust, age appropriate and frail in this age group," Puszko said. "But what is true for all of us is that as we age our skin gets thinner so a special technique is needed."

Because many older people are on medications, including blood thinners or insulin for diabetes, or have had joint replacements, the therapist should take special care to customize the technique. Some health conditions might be reason to avoid massage, such as a history of blood clots, certain types of cancer and open or unhealed bed sores.

Don't be afraid to ask questions before you schedule a massage, Lambe said. Ask how much experience the massage therapist has had in working with seniors.

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Posted by linda at August 20, 2007 7:49 AM

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