Have you ever noticed how a reassuring squeeze of your hand, a gentle tap on your shoulder or arm puts you at ease and calms your nerves?
Human touch has a comforting and encouraging effect and helps manage anxiety.
This is why you feel so good when you hug someone. Although in many cultures and situations, it would be awkward or inappropriate to hug a stranger; many countries including the Netherlands have created Free Hug campaigns. Other celebrations around the world such as National Cuddle Day are attempts aimed at highlighting the importance of human contact. Although these planned events may result in less than spontaneous gestures, they are acknowledgment that touch is important.
Human touch and comfort is especially important in healthcare settings. If you have ever had surgery, you no doubt remember how scared you were just prior to being wheeled into the operating room. A small gesture as simple as a couple of comforting words from a nurse and a gentle hand squeeze can do miracles for a patient’s nerves.Hospice Van-Nuys
A good massage can wash away the tensions of a long day. Some people may assume that the elderly do not have the same tensions as their younger counter parts, but that is not always the case. Senior citizens, especially those living alone may face a wide variety of mental and emotional issues ranging from loneliness, depression and isolation. Their bodies often carry the ill effects of a lifetime of work and stress.
As part of their regularly scheduled exercise, fitness and well being programs, many assisted living homes are now incorporating massages sessions for their residents.
Geriatric massage therapy is specifically designed for senior citizens. It typically includes a 30 minute to an hour long session in a spa, the senior’s home, or an assisted living or other elderly care residence. The geriatric massage therapist starts with helping the recipient passively stretch his or her shoulders, arms, legs, and feet. Soft massage strokes are then applied to various parts of the body, and the therapists are careful not to press too hard. The therapist often focuses on the back area with the goal of improving cardiovascular health and circulation.
When mobility is an issue, for example, the client is wheelchair bound, the massage therapist will adapt accordingly and give the treatment while their clients remains seated.
The immediate benefit of senior massage is decreasing the stiffness of the body and reducing inflammation. Like all massages, this one also helps with improving blood circulation and posture. Massage has many health related benefits and can be an effective preventive therapy when done on a regular basis. For those citizens who suffer from age related ailments like arthritis, diabetes or Parkinson, massage can improve the circulation of lymphatic fluid, providing some relief from these problems.
Geriatric massage practitioners will often spend a lot of time on the hands and feet of their clients, especially if the client does not walk or does not have full use of their hands. In cases such as these, a hand or foot massage can enhance body awareness, sensation and circulation in certain parts of an aging body. Gentle massage around the spine offers pain relief for females with osteoporosis. Light massage and elevation helps relieve pressure for seniors with poor circulation and limb swelling.
Massage also helps senior citizens with physical and emotional problems connect with other people. It helps them fight feelings of isolation, restlessness, and uselessness that many elderly people may experience. Any good massage therapist develops a strong emotional and physical bond with the receiver, and this can greatly benefit the elderly. This sort of physical activity provides older people with emotional and mental support that can help them live the sunsets of their lives with strength and dignity.
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