According to the CDC, one out of every three people aged 65 or older will experience a fall each year (3). The NIH’s Senior Health division cites lack of muscular strength and flexibility, as well as a lack of balance/inefficiencies in gait as two of the highest risk factors in predicting falls in Seniors (2).
While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of massage, improvements in balance, muscle flexibility, and gait have been shown to be linked with regular, therapeutic massage. Not only can you leave a session feeling more centered and balanced, but therapeutic massage techniques can greatly improve functional postural control, and correct muscular imbalances.
These benefits certainly aren’t limited to seniors, and can be expected in recipients of massage therapy of all ages. Benefits for seniors specifically, however, are important to note in relation to how regular massage could possibly help limit the risk of falls.
In the International Journal of Massage Therapy and Bodywork (IJMTB) a case study was published, exploring these effects. After a 60 minute, therapeutic massage session, both the control- and treatment-groups were tested to assess overall body function. Those receiving the treatment reported significant increases in static and dynamic balance, as well as a stabilizing effect in “physiological factors related to balance in older adults”.
Every day, as Massage Therapy receives more and more attention in the world of medicine as well as myriad new scientific and clinical studies, we are learning just how far-reaching massage’s benefits can be. As highlighted by this study, it can be a key factor in reducing risk in falls in seniors, a very serious concern — as well as the long, long list of well-documented and studied benefits that massage can provide.
Massage is for everyone — people of all ages, body types, health levels and concerns. BodyWaves, Boston’s best massage studio, is extremely proud to offer said benefits to all our clients, from our incredibly talented team of massage therapists. Come on by or book today and find out what you’ve been missing out on !