Basic And Advanced Geriatric Massage Training

What does the word geriatric mean? According to the dictionary, it is a stream of medicine that deals with looking after diseases and problems that older people experience due to age-related changes.

Geriatric massage deals with both the physical and mental wellbeing for elderly clients, where gentle, relaxing strokes are used to help the client relax.


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Geriatric massage training prepares you to look after whatever needs your patient may have, where the age factor becomes an important criterion. Moreover, only a certified geriatric masseuse can give a geriatric massage as older people are more prone to complications and bruising and require special care.

Benefits of geriatric massage

The benefits of geriatric massage for older people are plenty: massages help with good bowel movement that averts constipation; improved blood and lymph circulation, leading to faster healing by the body; decreased levels of stress, anxiety and pain; lowered blood pressure levels; and a regular heartbeat, especially in stroke patients.

Basic geriatric massage training

The basic topics covered in a geriatric massage training workshop are as follows:

  • Mental, physiological and sociological aspects of ageing
  • Evaluating the needs of your elderly client
  • Precautions and conditions
  • Adjusting the massage methods according to the needs and health of the patient

You could also be asked to get some hands-on experience by working with elderly people. Additionally, you will be informed about the various requirements for setting up a geriatric massage practice.

Advanced geriatric massage training

For people who are interested in honing and improving their skills and focusing on patients with health problems, there are advanced training workshops available. These courses generally focus on specific kind of health issues and what type of massage technique to use for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s, arthritis, dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and even patients who have previously suffered from a stroke or heart attack. These massage methods are usually employed for people who are bed ridden or in the final stages of their life.

Choosing training

Picking what kind of training you would like to undergo is always a tough ask, but there are various massage schools and certain massage education providers who have geriatric massage training in their course curriculum. When you are opting for a course, make sure that you do your research on the instructor who will be teaching you the basics of geriatric massage; it is important to see how experienced they are in the field. Other important things to look at are the various components of the course like massage techniques taught, hours of field work and hands-on experience, the type of massage that you would like to specialize in, and the kind of clientele that you are looking for.

Geriatric patients’ needs

While massaging an elderly patient, never forget the health of your patient, what medications they are on, and the amount of physical activity that they indulge in daily. Usually, in older people, massage sessions are for less than half an hour in order to avert overstimulation in their body. Elderly people tend to have very thin skin that can bruise or break easily, so the geriatric massage strokes need to be such that the pressure is minimal. Older people who are isolated from the world and left either in an old age home or nursing home tend to crave some human contact as it makes them feel better; for these kinds of patients, a gentle back or neck massage will make them feel much better. Make sure that you are up to date with the latest medication that your patient is taking as the side effects could include muscular pain and bruising, it is important to try building muscle strength in geriatric patients in order to avoid complications.

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