If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from aches and pains associated with aging, massage therapy for seniors is a wonderful way to gain relief. Many age-related conditions such as arthritis, muscle stiffness and back pain can be reduced by therapeutic massage, also known as medical massage.
For many seniors the benefits of massage therapy go far beyond alleviating the physical discomforts of aging or providing pain management. Massage therapy often reduces stress and depression while increasing a feeling of emotional well-being.
Massage Therapy for Seniors: Dara Warshaw Interview
Recently LoveToKnow had the pleasure of interviewing Dara Warshaw, a licensed massage therapist in private practice in New York.
What made you decide to become a massage therapist?
I have always wanted to help people feel better. When I went to college, I majored in Psychology, and wanted to continue my studies in the medical field. I realized I wanted to be less medical, and more holistic. I found that massage therapy was a great way to help people holistically, hands on.
There are many different types of modalities of massage therapy. Do you have modalities that are your specialty areas?
I practice many different modalities including:
- Medical Massage
- Amma Therapy (Oriental)
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Pregnancy Massage
- Thai- Yoga Massage
I would consider Medical Massage to be my specialty, as this is the modality that I use most. I also am certified to teach Infant Massage. I am studying Cranial-Sacral massage right now. I feel that the more you learn, the more you grow as a professional.
Would you explain the different types of massage therapies you use in your practice?
- Medical Massage is used to treat medical conditions such as arthritis, tennis elbow, sciatica, herniations, etc. It is done over a series of shorter treatments in order to ease the pain.
- Swedish- European technique with long gliding strokes, most commonly practiced by therapists.
- Amma-Oriental technique used to free blocked energy channels that cause pain and dis-ease.
- Trigger Point- there are hypersensitive points in the body that sends pain along a pathway. Trigger Point Therapy treats these points to eliminate the pain pattern.
- Pregnancy Massage is used to treat the common pains and ailments associated with pregnancy. It is beneficial to both mom and the baby.
- Thai-Yoga Massage is a longer treatment, focusing on stretching.
Massage and Seniors
Is there a particular type of massage therapy for seniors that is more beneficial?
Medical Massage is great for older people. It can treat many ailments such as arthritis and poor circulation. I would also suggest Swedish Massage for my older patients as it is the most relaxing type, and can be very gentle.
Are there certain types of massage that should be avoided by the elderly?
I would avoid any kind of deep massage.
What are the benefits of massage therapy to senior citizens?
Massage Therapy has many benefits for the elderly. Most elderly suffer from arthritis, poor circulation, joint deterioration, osteoporosis, and general stiffness. Massage techniques can treat chronic pain, increase circulation, reduce swelling, decrease muscle and joint stiffness. Via relaxation, massage can reduce high blood pressure, provide better sleep, and stimulates the nervous system. Overall massage gives a feeling of well being, and enhances the mind body connection.
Does massage therapy have an effect on a person's mental and emotional health?
Yes, it releases endorphins, which gives a feeling of emotional relaxation and calmness. People who receive massage on a regular basis are much happier people. The human contact is another positive aspect of massage as well.
What is the most common reason a senior decides to use your service?
Because of the aches and pains of muscle and joint swelling and stiffness associated with age.
How often should an older person receive massage therapy?
Even if it's only for a 1/2 hour, I would recommend a weekly or biweekly visit.
Is there anything you would like to say to our readers about the importance of massage?
People usually associate Massage Therapy with relaxation, but there is so much more to it. It is a great tool used to heal the body, mind and spirit.
About Dara Warshaw
In addition to being a licensed massage therapist, Dara Warshaw is also a certified infant massage instructor. A graduate of the New York College of Health Professionals, Ms. Warshaw's practice A Touch of Health Massage Therapy, is located in Deer Park, New York.
Dara Warshaw was gracious enough to offer LoveToKnow readers a discount coupon for new clients that mention this article. They will receive a $50 hour-long massage session, which is a $25 savings. To reach the office by telephone call (631) 242-1818 or send an e-mail to Health Professionals.