You might think of massage as a pure indulgence, much like getting a pedicure or eating a really decadent slice of cake. But the fact of the matter is that the benefits of massage far exceed simply having your aching muscles rubbed and kneaded into submission for an hour.
Check out some of the advantages seniors can gain from this perceived extravagance:
- Increases blood flow. Soft tissue manipulation not only improves blood flow to muscles to help them move more easily and regenerate but also enhances circulation to your limbs, which can become a problem as you age.
- Improves flexibility. Less active muscles can become tight and cause achiness, not to mention make movement more difficult. Massage helps relax those taut muscles and can result in a wider range of motion as you go about your day.
- Makes you feel happy. Massage therapy releases those hormones like serotonin and dopamine that give you a feeling of contentment and pleasure. The touch component of massage can also make you feel cared for and comforted.
- Improves sleep. It’s common to have some changes in your sleep as you get older. By releasing serotonin, massage, in turn, raises your level of melatonin, which is a key factor in regulating your sleep cycles. On other words, regular massages can lead to better quality sleep.
- Calms you. The soothing touch and quiet, calming ambience of a massage session encourages you to turn off your mind and completely relax. Studies show that hand massage can even decrease agitation in those with dementia.
But before you climb under that blanket and let your cares melt aware, be sure to inform your massage therapist of any health conditions you might have.
Share the benefits you’ve gained from massage.