Geriatric Massage Therapy
Preparing a massage session for elderly people, the most important factor is establishing any health problems they may have. It is very important to remember never to give massage to a patient whose health may deteriorate as a result of the treatment. The most common problems that would make it impossible to have a massage therapy are circulatory or respiratory conditions.
If there is any swelling, the first couple of treatments should involve lymphatic massage of the body parts affected by swelling. It would be also beneficial to encourage correct lymph circulation by positioning the patient accordingly.
Due to frequently occurring reduced efficiency of the circulatory or respiratory systems (especially during initial geriatric massage session geriatric massage therapy), it is advisable to massage chosen areas of the body (i.e. legs in one session and arms in the following one) or do a partial massage, which does not affect the respiratory system.
I would recommend using oil or gel for massaging. The type of massage depends on the effect we are aiming at. If the main purpose is to improve the patient’s circulation, then semi or long impulse massage is recommended. If, on the other hand, we are aiming at mobilizing the muscle activity for immobile patients, a shorter and more intensive massage is recommended, with vibrations.
Due to tissue condition and easy bruising all techniques have to be carried out very carefully.
Massage: All stroking techniques are advisable. All grinding is recommended. It is definitely worth it to spend more time on muscle attachments and joints, which will enable returning the patient to the erect position. Kneading is supposed to be the most important massage technique, which can be used with geriatric patients, as it encourages metabolism. Good results will bring elongated kneading and squeezing. If the patient will be put in an erect position, I recommend applying any type of vibrations.
Warning: If there is patient’s intolerance to treatment, we should shorten the session’s time and frequency and get in touch with the GP. Of course, all technique should be broken with gentle stroking.