The need for physical touch is referred to as “skin hunger” or “touch hunger” by medical professionals.
Psychiatrist Dr. Neel Burton, M.D., has written, “…older adults, who tend to be more alone, more vulnerable, and more self-aware, are likely to need considerably more skin contact than their younger counterparts. Therapy animals have become common in care homes, and, despite a lifetime of reservations, residents can be encouraged to hold hands or rub each other’s shoulders.”
Tender Touch for All, a massage company that specializes in offering “rehabilitative and restorative massage therapy for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and chronic conditions” explains that massage can positively benefit the elderly by helping to lower anxiety, relieve depression, and minimize “touch hunger,” stating “the simple pleasure of the human touch and companionship can be priceless for isolated or lonely seniors, and benefits the emotional well-being of a population at greater risk to suffer from depression.”
Psychology Today notes:
- Researchers have found that an embrace changes our reaction to stress
- Studies have shown that people who received a warm embrace from their romantic partners before a stressful event showed lower stress responses than those who had not received an embrace
- People who received embraces showed smaller increases in their blood pressure than those who hadn’t received them
In the following blog, learn more about formulating a marketing plan for assisted living centers, including adding the appropriate CE courses in geriatric massage to your list of modalities.
Image courtesy of: Nicolás J. Gomez
“When you are preparing to market yourself to the geriatric massage population one of the best ways is to connect with a local senior living facility. How do you go about marketing your massage practice to the senior assist living facilities? I’ve included some questions and benefits below to help you prepare your presentation for a director of a senior assisted living facilities.
Most assisted living managers have only a passing acquaintance with massage. Usually from a spa or athletic competition. The massage provided in these contexts is not appropriate or safe for senior residents. Unfortunately. massage schools teach little or nothing about geriatric massage except that seniors are a growing market.”