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Unlocking the Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly
A Comprehensive Guide

Date Added: 24th February 2023

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Unlocking the Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly


As we age, our bodies can become achy and stiff, which can be difficult to manage without help. Luckily, remedial and relaxation massages are available to help senior citizens experience the benefits of massage therapy. With massages, ageing people can gain relief from pain and stiffness while also enjoying improved physical and mental well-being.

Some senior citizens have been too hesitant to get their hands on and experience the many advantages of touch.

Luckily, they are now realising that they are embracing it more!

Massage is not a special treat for the elderly, it allows them to relax and enjoy life a more.

The techniques used can be designed specifically to suit their needs and provide them with the best possible experience. So, why not make massage part of your regular well-being management program?

To make sure everyone is comfortable and on the same page, constant communication between the massage therapist and their client is a must-have during a massage session.

The Benefits

Geriatric massage is the perfect way to give your elderly loved one a bit of TLC without any invasive treatment, medication, or too much force. It's a soothing combination of strokes and kneading that with an extra gentle touch for certain points may help relax & relieve stress.

Massage therapists working with seniors can basically be seen as stretching ninjas - they help restore mobility and strengthwith their magical kneading powers!

Treating your elderly friends and family members with remedial and relaxation massage can have a variety of health benefits. Not only does it improve blood flow & immunity levels, but it can also help to lower blood pressure and speed up healing.

Seniors suffering from chronic pain, such as arthritis, can benefit greatly from massage therapy - in fact, it's even been shown to improve nearly all body systems! Who knew the answer to pain and discomfort was just a calming massage?

If your ageing loved one suffers from sleep problems. Research conducted concluded that providing elderly women with a hand massage coupled with a warm hand bath can significantly improve the quality of their sleep. It can lead to better sleep efficiency, longer & deeper sleep, and overall improved comfort.

Multiple studies conducted on the impact of hand massage have demonstrated a significant reduction in verbal aggression & nonaggressive behaviors among individuals suffering from dementia.

Elderly people tend to recover more slowly from injuries - so massage therapy could be really helpful in aiding the recovery process. Not only does it reduce pain and swelling, but also offers well-being benefits that can help the healing process.

Massage therapy can aid the healing process by boosting blood circulation to the affected area, thereby facilitating an influx of macrophages and aiding in getting rid of dead or damaged cells.

Macrophages are a key component of the healing process, as they initiate tissue repair by calling on other cells such as fibroblasts to come to the injury site and help fix it up.

Massage has been proven to be advantageous after surgery, as it can assist the healing process here also. Although some tissue damage is unavoidable during invasive operations, massage can help reduce the severity and length of time to recover.

After an injury or trauma, the body produces scar tissue. This adhesive type of tissue can interfere with how muscles, tendons, ligaments & fascia work together resulting in a decreased functioning of these structures.

Massage with varying strength and pressure can help in breaking down scar tissue, thus helping to restore the normalcy of body structures and function. This can expedite the process of recovery.

Massage therapy can be a great way for elderly individuals to relax their muscles and improve their mobility, posture, and overall function. It is especially beneficial for those who suffer from tight muscles due to age-related changes.

Keeping your muscles relaxed is key to having a fully functioning body, free of pain. Massage therapy applying moderate pressure strokes is ideal for loosening these tight muscle fibres and restoring and improving function.

Massage is an effective way to target muscle tightness that affects functioning and mobility. It can reach the fascia, a fibrous layer of connective tissue surrounding each muscle, and help relax its tension.

A massage is a popular option for managing the pain & limited range of motion caused by arthritis.

The 'pain gate theory' and increased blood circulation are some of the benefits massage offers for this condition.

The pain gate theory emphasizes that non-noxious stimulation, for example, massage, could disrupt messages of hurt or a painful stimulus as they travel through the spinal pathways.

Improved blood circulation facilitates better temperature regulation of the tissue and supply of beneficial nutrients to the joints, enabling improved joint function and a broader range of motion.

The Considerations

Massage therapists can specially devise treatments for elderly persons, considering several factors like:

Overall health & well-being status

Prior to giving you a massage, the massage therapist will assess your overall health. This may involve watching you move and asking questions regarding your state of health and how often you exercise.

It's important to be aware that ageing brings about changes in our bodies. Pain levels may fluctuate and joints, muscles, and bones can become weaker or more sensitive. It's essential to look after your body and be attentive to these changes.

Existing Health conditions

Before getting a massage, it is important to let your therapist know about any existing health conditions such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, circulatory issues, gastrointestinal issues, or heart-related issues. This will help them in providing the best possible results for your massage session.

It's particularly essential to be aware of any health conditions if you're supportive of someone who has dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Prior to giving the massage, a massage therapist should have all pertinent information related to the patient's health.


Communicate with your massage therapist and let them know of any medications you are taking. This will help ensure that the massage session is tailored to meet your individual needs.

This will also help them tailor the massage to account for any possible side effects that the medications may have on you.

Skin condition

As you age, the texture of your skin changes and may become thinner. As such, massage therapists need to be careful when applying pressure to your skin - too much could cause it to break or become red and irritated. They will carefully assess how much pressure is safe for you to ensure that your skin remains undamaged.

Sensitivity to pain

Older adults may sense pain differently because of lesser blood circulation, some health problems, or drugs they need to take.

If you experience heightened sensitivity to pain or a lack of sensation until it gets extreme, let your massage therapist know about it. This way, you can prevent any potential injury or discomfort during the session.

Body temperature

As you get older, your body may become more sensitive to both hot & cold temperatures. It can be hard for you to regulate your temperature, so it's important to inform your massage therapist about any thermal sensitivity before the session. Appropriate measures can be taken in order to make you feel comfortable.

The Cost & Health Insurance Coverage

If you have opted for extras cover with your private health insurer, they may help pay a portion of your remedial massage fees. When claiming a benefit from your insurer, you need to make sure that the practitioner you use is recognised. To be approved by insurers, practitioners must have a diploma in remedial massage.


Massage therapy is a beneficial form of treatment for elderly individuals. It can help reduce pain, improve flexibility, and increase relaxation. When considering massage therapy as we grow older, there are some considerations to be aware of such as the cost and insurance coverage. Knowing the benefits of massage therapy for the elderly can help you make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you or your loved one.

Want to receive one of the best massage therapies and patient care in Victoria, Australia?

Drop by our clinic located in Knoxfield. The Centre of Wellbeing and have a chat. We provide Remedial & Sports Massage Therapy, Relaxation Massage Therapy, Foot Reflexology Massage Therapy, and Hot Stone (Rock) Massage Therapy to customers throughout Knoxfield and surrounding suburbs.

Drop by our clinic located in Knoxfield. The Centre of Wellbeing provides Remedial & Sports Massage Therapy, Relaxation Massage Therapy, Foot Reflexology Massage Therapy and Hot Stone (Rock) Massage Therapy to customers throughout Knoxfield and surrounding suburbs.

Please see our location below

Get your life back on track, live pain free and move freely again with Chiropractic Care from the Centre of Wellbeing.

If you are interested in how massage therapies can benefit you, then please feel free to "Contact us" or 'Book an Appointment' via the buttons below.

In the meantime we invite you to read some Testimonials from some of the many happy customers that we have helped.

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