At Emerald Retirement Residence, we are constantly adding new programs and activities to our already very busy activities calendar. It’s important to us that we provide something for everyone and last week we offered our residents chair massage.
As people age, it’s natural to start slowing down, but just because it’s common, it doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to happen. Everyone has different abilities and different levels of activity, but regular massage therapy can help seniors to get the most out life, with a relaxed mind and body.
What is Chair Massage?
Chair massage is a type of seated massage, usually lasting about 10 to 15 minutes, focusing on one’s back, shoulders, neck, and arms. Chair massage is performed over clothing and doesn’t require any oil.
During a chair massage, you are sitting in a special chair that equipped with a cradle to rest your face in, looking down at the floor. With your arms supported, your back and neck will completely relax while the registered massage therapist relieves muscle tension with Swedish massage techniques like kneading, compression, and tapotement, none of which require massage oil.
The Benefits of Chair Massage
There are a number of benefits of chair massage for seniors, including:
Reduced pain and stiffness
Senior citizens commonly experience pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, especially following more vigorous physical activity, like dancing, aerobics or even extended walks. By using gentle massage techniques, a massage therapist with experience with older clients will effectively mobilize sore muscles, tendons, and joints.
Chair massage also reduces inflammation-related pain around joints which can result in better range of motion. With improved range of motion, seniors will see their ability to perform day-to-day activities, resulting in increased independence and higher quality of life.
One of the main benefits of massage therapy, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, is improved circulation. Healthy circulation of blood is especially important for seniors, who may be more susceptible to decreased circulation, which is particularly problematic for those with diabetes.
Regular massage therapy, paired with a individual exercise plan can help to prevent complications like ulcers and gangrene in lower extremities. As well, improved circulation can help seniors recover more quickly following injuries and boost energy levels.
According to studies, seniors who receive massage therapy, such as chair massage, see significantly higher heal outcome scores in emotional wellbeing, limitations due to physical issues, and limitations due to emotional issues. Massage therapy can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and loneliness while also improving self-confidence and enhancing quality of life.
Massage therapy also gives a sense of companionship, a healing effect of chair massage. Human touch can have a noticeable impact on mental and emotional wellbeing, increasing one’s sense of belonging and friendship, which in turn have their own psychological benefits.