Saturday, August 28, 2010

Complementary Therapies for Elderly


It is sometimes assumed that complementary therapies like massage and aromatherapy etc. are designed for younger people however elderly people can also largely benefit from the healing touch and sense of nurturing that these treatments bring about. As complementary therapies also work on an emotional level it can help people to deal with grief, loss, loneliness and seperation. While there are many elderly people who are in excellent health, most have at least some medical situations that must be taken into consideration when performing the treatments.

Most elderly people have more sensitive skin and can be prone to bruising. Depending on an elderly client's level of physical activity, muscle tissue may be substantially diminished and bony structures are likely to be more fragile and at risk of breaking. Blood and lymphatic circulation is probably sluggish. Almost all older people suffer from osteoarthritis caused by worn out joints that can also put pressure on their nerve endings.

As time goes on, we can expect more and more elderly people to visit our clinics for treatment. Their needs are going to be different from younger adults because they are more likely to face multiple chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis and heart conditions. Moreover, illnesses will usually be treated with prescribed medications that will often complicate the health picture by causing side effects and raising contraindications. Hence requiring consent from the clients GP/Consultant.

That is why it is so important, when treating an elderly client, to take a detailed history to understand the underlying pathological conditions that affect the presenting musculoskeletal and possible emotional state.

Benefits of treatment can help with the following:

Lowers stress levels and anxiety, Relaxation, Deepens breathing

Improves sleep patterns, increases brain function and concentration

Arthritis, Pain relief, Reduces oedema/fluid retention

Improves flexibility and mobility in joints and muscles, encourages skin elasticity,

Stimulates circulation, reduces blood pressure, helps heart conditions,

Sense of being nurtured, ease emotional conditions, depression

Stimulates neural pathways,

Aids digestion, eases constipation,

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