''The tiger is ready to go. That was great!'' These were the words spoken by an 82-year-old man who just went through a geriatric massage therapy session- a comforting massage for the elderly! Massage therapists working in hospitals and nursing homes, claim that the feeling after giving a massage is as incredible as if you were getting it done. Looking into the eyes of the patients gives you an elated sense of achievement, knowing that you've made a difference in their lives! With this in-built strong belief that this process can quite simply do miracles for the spirit, special massage therapy programs are now being introduced at many such nursing homes, the latter now gradually finding dollars to hire on-site massage therapists for their residents.1

With the day by day arising need, we are forced to commemorate the great significance human touch has had on us from birth to death. The practice of rejuvenating the mind and body by means of artistic hand strokes can do wonders for a person who is actually in need of it. Hence, one should believe in giving back the world what one has gained from it and massage therapy is one, budding way that can replenish the fading joy in the lives of people, who at this stage need the utmost care.

''Touch is a natural and therapeutic way of being with the elderly. It is relaxing and healing, and at the same time pleasurable and sacred''
Mary Ann Finch

Just as with any other age group, massage has proven to be physically beneficial for the elderly, too. According to statistics 28% of massage customers or patients are in the 55 year old and above range2. In order to attain a cordial mind-body relationship, massage therapists have been learning certain particular techniques in this respect. This specific massage for the elderly or the Senior's massage, has proven to improve circulation of both blood and lymph, stimulate the nervous system, soften tight muscles, and enhance function of the digestive and respiratory processes.3 Administering touch to the elderly can also increase appetite, decrease the need for pain medications, calm agitated states, promote restful sleep, and decrease post-surgical recovery.4

Though, geriatric massage doesn't differ much from regular adult massages, but there are some special techniques that must be kept in mind mainly focusing on the fact that an elderly body requires an even softer touch. Experienced masseurs are aware of the technical know-how of treating the elderly in a more careful manner as compared to somebody in his/her thirties. Such a client when positioned once on a massage table would seldom be asked to shift his/her position repeatedly. While observing a 30-minute to an hour massage session, therapists tend to focus more on their clients' hands and feet. As a result, the blood circulation increases, hence causing an enhanced sensation and responsiveness in these parts of the body.

Though being an efficient geriatric practitioner requires a great deal of experience and hard work, a lot is being done to infuse the same qualities as that of an experienced geriatric massage therapist into a young massage therapist.
Massage therapy colleges all around the States promote such a dynamic curriculum that helps students to develop a solid foundation in therapeutic technique skills-skills that will make a real difference for their clients' health! There are roughly 1,500 massage therapy postsecondary schools, college programs, and training programs throughout the country5 where classes are being taught by professionals who practice what they teach exhibiting their passion for teaching and their dedication to the healing arts.

Special public awareness programs in favour of massage therapies are also being conducted nationwide. AMTA recently celebrated the National Massage Therapy Awareness week6- an effort to promote massage therapy institutions and the programs within, simultaneously flourishing the concept of massage therapy as a respectable profession as well. As a result to all such efforts being made, more and more people are gradually becoming responsive to the fact that massage therapy can certainly do miracles for their mind and soul!


1.www [dot] massagetherapy [dot] com/articles/index.php/article_id/728/Using-Massage-to-Ease-the-Elderly%92s-Loneliness
2. www [dot] moreaboutmassage [dot] com/massage-for-seniors
3. Finch, Mary Ann. Care Through Touch, New York, NY: Continuum, 1999:16.
4. Nelson, Dawn. From the Heart, Through the Hands, Scotland: Findhorn Press,2001:20.
5. www [dot] allalliedhealthschools [dot] com/schools/ID4721
6. American Massage Therapy Association www [dot] amtactchapter [dot] org/cr_nmtaw
www [dot] massagehealththerapy [dot] com/
www [dot] massagetherapy101 [dot] com/massage-techniques/massage-therapy-for-seniors.aspx

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Author's Bio: 

David Woods is a staff writer for HolisticJunction.com. Find massage therapy schools, courses and degrees programs, as well as other Colleges and Universities offering massage therapy certificates at HolisticJunction.com, your positive pathway to discovery!