resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
July, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 07
Aging Gracefully: The Timeless Benefits of Massage
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
Massage therapy as an industry has come a long way since I began my career in the 1980's. Instead of using just the traditional "Swedish" massage, most practitioners now need to learn special techniques to work with different populations such as athletes, infants, pregnant women and seniors.Americans are also indicating they view massage therapy as a vital part of staying healthy. According to the 2013 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet, more than half of those surveyed want insurance companies to cover massage therapy. One group of people who would reap the benefits of this, when it happens, are the elderly.
Massage is a non-invasive, enjoyable way to help alleviate the symptoms of many age-related diseases and improve a person's quality of life. With thousands of baby boomers now retiring every day, learning how to safely work with elderly clients is something every practitioner should consider. Your clients will not only benefit from massage, but you will as well, by making yourself more marketable and reaping the rewards of working with this very special group of people.
Older Americans represent the greatest challenge to massage therapists. When working with this group, you could help prepare a 70-year-old marathoner for the next event, or you could simply hold an exhausted hospice patient. The effectiveness of massage rests in the fact that it impacts the whole body. Not only does massage ease muscle and joint pain, it also reduces stress, which often increases in old age. When using proper geriatric bodywork technique, it is almost impossible to do damage to patients - which sounds much more attractive than what all those warning labels say on medication bottles. These are just some of the reasons why massage is increasingly employed in the care of both the robust and the frail elderly.
In fact, Krista Broshears, a Wellness Director, is charged with doing just that: making sure massage therapy is part of her residents "health care" regiment. Like many retirement centers across the country, Hoosier Village Retirement Center in Indianapolis has changed its model from focusing on illness, to focusing on wellness. As a result, it now has a Wellness Director, responsible for offering programs that address the physical, mental, social, intellectual and emotional needs of clients. Enter Krista, who organizes and oversees activities such as personal training, group exercise, support groups, Bible study, Happy Hour, "Brain-Fit" and massage therapy.
"Massage therapy has been a wonderful addition to the Hoosier Village wellness menu. Residents are using the massage therapy services to compliment their traditional medical services. Residents use massage as a natural way to deal with multiple symptoms caused by chronic ailments. These residents are experiencing a decrease in pain, more energy and an over-all sense of well-being," said Krista. "With much success, our massage therapy participants have sought massage to alleviate problems due to Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, poor circulation, diabetes and arthritis. Massage therapy is a wonderful benefit to our residents and it has made the facility more marketable to prospective residents."
The positive effects of massage rest on sound science. Even a gentle massage has a proven effect on blood circulation and the nervous system. These two body systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of aging. Geriatric massage stimulates these systems in a natural, pain-free way. Because of this, there are none of the side effects that are present in many medications. This is important for those who are being treated for Parkinson's disease, diabetes, depression and many other conditions requiring regular medications. In many cases, a regular massage (once a week) enables the physician to reduce medications. Proper geriatric massage also helps strengthen muscles weakened by disuse and helps reduce pain and stiffness in the hip, knee and shoulder joints. This is why the professional geriatric massage therapist routinely asks for permission to talk with or get written permission from a physician for an elderly client's massage.
There are many age-related conditions that can be improved with a weekly half-hour massage. Research has shown that even people living with chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease respond positively to the skilled hands of a geriatric massage therapist.
Definition of Geriatric Massage
Geriatric massage is a form of massage designed to meet the specific needs of the elderly population. It involves using massage hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to improve blood circulation, relieve pain and increase range of motion. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of geriatric massage.
Elderly people often suffer from a variety of such age-related diseases as Parkinson's, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or strokes. As a result, they have poor circulation and limited physical capability. Many of them are also anxious, depressed and lonely. Geriatric massage can help them maintain and improve their overall health, as well as regain certain physical functions that have been reduced or lost due to aging. In addition, it can relieve anxiety and depression and provide comfort to touch-deprived elderly patients and improve their quality of life.
Geriatric massage offers the following benefits:
Geriatric massage uses some of the same basic massage techniques as other modalities. It is, however, tailored to the specific health conditions and needs of the elderly population. Geriatric massage has the following characteristics:
Whether you are beginning your career as a massage therapist, or you have been at it for 15 years, if you do not already have training in geriatric massage, you should seriously consider pursing it. Classes specializing in geriatric massage techniques are taught all across the country, throughout the year. If you consider pursuing it as a specialty, please make sure you take classes from a program offering certification in geriatric massage. It is a worthwhile and rewarding way to expand your business, and most importantly, experience the satisfaction of helping amazing senior clients through geriatric massage.
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
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