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Massage and Aging: Health, Injuries, Skin Quality

If you're someone who regularly utilizes massage therapy and its numerous benefits, whether for pain relief, help with a specific condition or just overall wellness, the technique(s) used are one important subject you'll be regularly considering. One question we regularly get in this area: Should massage techniques be changed as a given person ages? 

At Body Balance Massage and Float, we're happy to offer a huge range of massage therapy techniques, including everything from deep tissue massage to trigger point therapy, Swedish massage and numerous others. We're also happy to assist patients with questions like these -- should massage technique considerations change as you get older? This is a highly personalized question, with answers that may vary from patient to patient; in this two-part blog series, we'll look into a number of elements to consider if you're in this position.

Health Conditions

Naturally, one of the most important factors that may dictate whether or not you should change your massage therapy approach as you age is any health conditions you may have developed. These could be new conditions, or ones that have been present for some time.

For example, if you're getting older and beginning to develop significant arthritis pain, a deep tissue massage that was once comfortable may now cause you more pain and discomfort. In this case, you'll want to look into other options that may better suit your needs, such as Swedish massage or another gentler approach.

On the other hand, if you're dealing with long-term health conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic pain, you may find that massage provides more relief than ever before. In this case, you may want to look into more frequent sessions or longer sessions than you've had in the past.

Injury Concerns

In other cases, specific injuries may come into play when deciding whether or not to change your massage therapy approach.

For example, if you've recently suffered a back injury, you'll want to be very careful about the techniques used during your massage. In some cases, a deep tissue massage may be too much for an injured back and could actually make things worse; in this case, a gentler approach like Swedish massage may be a better option.

On the other hand, if you're dealing with an old injury that's never quite healed properly, targeted deep tissue work may finally help to get things moving in the right direction.

Skin Quality or Conditions

Another key element to consider is the quality and condition of your skin. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and less elastic. This can make certain types of massage, like deep tissue work, more painful than they would be on younger skin. In this case, it may be best to stick with gentler techniques or shorter sessions.

In addition, if you have any skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, it's important to take these into account when choosing a massage technique. In some cases, certain approaches may aggravate existing skin conditions; in others, massage may actually help to improve them.

In part two of our series, we'll go over some further themes here. For more on this, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or float therapy programs, speak to the team at Body Balance Massage and Float today.

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