Amy Gerard, CMT , LMT
What is Geriatric Massage?
Geriatric massage is a form of massage designed to meet the specific needs of the elderly population. It involves the use of hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to improve blood circulation, relieve pain, and increase range of motion.
Amy received certification from the Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute in January of 2009, and immediately felt a connection and love for working with seniors.
Geriatric massage has the following characteristics:
• Short sessions.
A geriatric massage session usually lasts no longer than 30 minutes, as a longer session may be too much for an elderly person.
• Use of gentle hand motions.
These motions are comfortable and soothing to the body. They are designed to improve blood circulation and heart function, prevent diabetic complications, relieve muscle tension, and relax the body and the mind.
• Passive movement and gentle stretching of shoulders, legs and feet to improve joint mobility and
• Gentle massaging of the hands and feet (if the joints are not inflamed) to prevent stiffness and
• Occasional use of stronger movements such as friction and pressure strokes.
These are sometimes used to massage such areas as the shoulders to improve flexibility.
The Benefits of Geriatric Massage:
• Increase in blood circulation, thus preventing such complications of diabetes as leg ulcers or
• Improvement in lymphatic flow, which increases the excretion of toxic substances from the body.
• Alleviation of headache and pain.
• Speeding up of healing from injury and illness.
• Partial restoration of mobility lost due to Parkinson's disease or arthritis.
• Mental and physical relaxation.
• Improvement in length and quality of sleep.
• Relief of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
• Improvement of the patient's quality of life and self-esteem.