Massage and Aging
Okay.....we all know the visible and physical effects of aging...right? For most people these effects start to become noticeable during their thirties. Believe it or not, massage therapy can address many of the effects of aging directly.
Massage can be an important component of lifelong wellness. It promotes general physical and emotional well-being, addresses conditions commonly associated with aging and enhances quality of life. It can help slow the aging process and maintain youthful characteristics longer.
Massage works best if received regularly and over a period of years. As we grow older, our state of well-being is a reflection of a lifetime of both good and poor health practices. Along with good eating and exercise habits, regular massage can help prevent or slow down some of the decline in condition and function associated with age. Massage can help improve an already deteriorated condition, but works best as a measure of prevention. It promotes well-nourished skin by increasing superficial circulation. It moisturizes the skin through the use of oils and lotions.
Massage improves general blood circulation, especially in the extremities. This is especially important when a person becomes sedentary. Persons who are confined to a bed for long periods of time, young and old, are prone to developing decubitus ulcers (bedsores). This is a condition caused by impaired circulation in underlying tissues at sites of constant pressure or recurring friction. Once these sores develop, they are extremely difficult to heal and can even become deadly. Massage can help prevent these sores from developing.
Immune system function is strengthened with improved lymph flow and general relaxation. It has been found and proven that chronic stress and inactivity accelerate the aging process. Massage helps reduce the physical and mental effects of stress and anxiety. It is known to trigger the relaxation response, relieve muscular tension and reduce anxiety.
Massage improves sleep and increases feelings of well-being. Massage has special benefits for elders, defined as people 70 years and older. Along with exercise, it helps elders keep the flexibility and strength needed to do activities of daily living....getting up out of a chair, dressing and undressing, climbing stairs, stooping to pick up an object from the floor, reaching above the head. How about just being able to turn your head when driving to see if the coast is clear or when backing up your car? Therefore, massage therapy contributes to maintaining independence and who wouldn't want this for themselves or for their elderly loved ones? No one relishes the reality of growing old but fitting regular massage therapy into your aging future can certainly help ease the aches and pains of it all!
(Some of this article was borrowed from Tappan's Handbook by Patricia Benjamin.)
Dale Martin is a local massage therapist located in "Old Towne" Tehachapi on W Valley Blvd. If you already schedule regular massages, that's great! Keep it up! If you are new to massage therapy or you are looking for a therapist, Dale would love to help you with your needs. You can call Dale at 805-748-5813 to set up an appointment.