What is Geriatric Massage and Why is it Important?

Patient receiving geriatric massage.
With the Baby Boomer generation aging, geriatric massages will increase in demand

Geriatric massage is a modality that is focused on the elderly. The techniques and methods used in this kind of massage therapy cater to the specific needs of this type of client. Geriatric massage is becoming a more valuable skill for therapists every day.

Why is this type of massage becoming so important?

The Baby Boomer demographic is aging. Boomers, as of 2017, will be between the ages of 53 and 71. This cohort is also one of the largest populations in the United States with close to 75 million members. This means a large portion of the customer base for massage therapists live within this age group. As they continue to age it will be important for therapists to cater to that.

Here’s a few reasons why geriatric massage is beneficial for the elderly and why massage therapists should learn it.

elderly woman getting a geriatric massage

Geriatric Massage Benefits

This type of massage can bestow many positive benefits for people who are more mature in years. The following are some benefits that clients commonly mention:

  • Reduces Stress

    The stress of everyday life doesn’t dissipate as you age. Massage is a great way to cope with stress. In addition to relaxing the muscles, massage can be a great time to clear your mind and regroup mentally.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

    Many say that massage can help lower blood pressure which is something that may become more of concern in the later years of life.

  • Increases Circulation

    A healthy blood flow is vitally important. When muscles are massaged it breaks down blockages that are causing slow circulation and helps new blood move through your body more effectively.

  • Helps with Joint and Arthritis Pain

    Many people who experience chronic joint pain or pain from arthritis seek relief with massage. It helps loosen the affected areas and can play a big role in mitigating this type of pain.

  • Stimulates Lymph Flow

    Lymph is a fluid that transports oxygen and nutrients to cells. It plays a key role in fighting sickness and infections. Massage can help with lymphatic circulation and play a role in keeping you healthy.

  • Improves Sleep

    With the relaxation of muscles, deeper breathing, increased circulation, and other benefits of massage, it’s no surprise that you can sleep better as a result; and better sleep can contribute to better overall health and wellness.

These are only a few of the benefits of massage. There are many more and as you age the value of these benefits increases. Making massage a part of your regular routine can make a big difference in the way you experience life.

How is Geriatric Massage Different?

Obviously the body changes with age. The pain points and stress areas will be different and massage therapists need to learn how to adjust to that. You will also have to learn how to provide special accommodations. Geriatric clients often have unique needs when it comes to massage. Understanding this and knowing how to approach each client individually is part of learning geriatric massage.

House calls or visits to nursing homes or other long term care facilities are common with geriatric clients. This is another unique aspect that massage therapists will need to be prepared for. Being flexible and able to work outside of a traditional clinic is important and is something that massage therapists should be comfortable with.

Older man receiving geriatric massage.

Learn Geriatric Massage

If you have a passion for helping others, learning geriatric massage is a great way to do this. Contact us at Indiana Massage College. We can help you learn what you need to know to become a massage therapist and to help people feel better. We are here to help you build a career that is exciting, rewarding, and that you can enjoy. Get started today!

Experience Geriatric Massage

Already lived out your dream career? Visit our student massage clinic. You can feel the benefits of massage and help our students reach their goals. Schedule an appointment here.

You can also call us at (317) 641-8121 to talk about the possibility of setting up a massage for friends, family, or patients who are elderly. We’d love to show them the power of geriatric massage and the difference it can make!

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