Geriatric massage could grow as a specialty as the US Population ages. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million people aged 65 years or older – more than twice that of the year 2000, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services Administration on Aging.
New research indicates six-weekly 60-minute massage therapy sessions resulted in immediate and long-term improvements in postural stability and blood pressure among older adults, compared to subjects who engaged in relaxation rather than massage.
“Falls in older adults represent a primary cause of decreased mobility and independence, increased morbidity and accidental death,” the researchers noted.
This project assessed the effects of six weeks of massage on balance, nervous system and cardiovascular measures in older adults, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.
Thirty-five volunteers aged 62 and older were randomly assigned to relaxation or massage groups.
The massage group showed significant differences relative to the relaxation group in cardiovascular function after the week-six session, with decreased blood pressure and increased stability over time with immediate post-massage to 60 minutes post-massage. Long-term differences between the groups were detected at week seven.
Source: Massage Magazine