By Mark Love FBN According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70 million baby boomers in the United States are poised to join the ranks of those aged 65 or older. As a result of baby boomers crossing the 60-year-old threshold, more Americans than ever before are entering into their golden years.
At the same time, modern medicine and health care are working to put an end to or decrease life-ending and life-shortening disease and illness. The result is a growing population that is expected to live longer than previous generations. How they live those years depends on how they live their lives today.
As we age and put more wear and tear on our bodies, the body needs more attention to remain healthy and stay in motion. Some of the challenges we face as we age include a decrease in mobility and strength, slower nerve function, body tissue is less elastic, skin becomes drier and thinner, loss of bone mass, a decline in the senses, and a less efficient immune system.
Therapeutic massage can be instrumental in helping the golden years be more productive and healthy. Massage therapy for seniors can be an effective, non-invasive way to help alleviate some of the symptoms of many age-related conditions, especially when used to complement traditional medical services.
The American Massage Therapy Association reports that approximately 9 million people over age 55 had a total of 39 million massages in the last 12 months, mainly for medical purposes.
Getting regular massage opens the door to many health benefits. Massage has been proven to reduce stress and blood pressure, improve range of motion in the joints and improve flexibility, increase the quality of sleep, help us feel more relaxed, reduce anxiety and alleviate muscle tension. Massage improves circulation and aids in the functionality of muscles.
Massage also stimulates the immune system by reducing stress and blood pressure. When stress levels are raised for long periods of time, some of the body’s systems will start to shut down. One system, for instance, is the immune system. The chronic stress creates high levels of cortisol and insulin in the body that shuts these systems down. Many studies have shown that getting a massage can reset or quiet the fight or flight sensors and aid in balancing hormone levels.
The immune system is not only affected when you suffer from chronic stress but also with poor circulation. The circulatory system is an extremely important system that can hinder the whole body when it’s not working sufficiently. Circulation is key to healthy living and looking young and great!
The circulatory system is a vast system that runs throughout the entire body, providing it with fresh blood cells, oxygen, nutrients and removing all old, dead and harmful components that are filtered through various organs. Massage is an exceptional way to improve and keep the circulatory system flowing properly.
A positive side effect from improved circulation is a better lymphatic filtering response, where toxins are filtered and removed from the body. Better blood flow throughout the body means a healthier body!
Finally, a primary benefit of massage for seniors is how massage can increase the functionality of the muscle system. Newton said it best when he stated the first law of physics: “a body in motion stays in motion.” Massage not only promotes muscular health but also helps correct poor posture. Better posture and strong muscles enhance our ability to breathe and move more freely and fully.
With regular massage, seniors can experience an improved quality of life, increased energy levels and feel younger and healthier overall.
Massage techniques utilized for seniors include lighter, gentle stroking and kneading as well as the application of pressure to specific points on the body. Soothing hand motions help relieve muscle tension while relaxing the body and mind.
Even the most gentle massage has proven effects on the nervous system and blood circulation.
Try incorporating massage into your healthcare routine to see what benefits and relief you begin to experience yourself.