Friday, July 12, 2024

Massage Therapy For Dementia Patients

The Effect Of Inexpensive And Safe Interventions In People With Dementia

Massage Tips for working with dementia patients

Qingcheng Du*

School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong, 523808, China

*Corresponding Author :Qingcheng Du School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong, 523808, ChinaTel: +86 15625554996E-mail:

Received: May 10, 2017 Accepted: June 16, 2017 June 23, 2017

Citation:Du Q The Effect of Inexpensive and Safe Interventions in People with Dementia. J Aging Geriatr Med 1:3.

What The Mtf Does For You

The Massage TherapyFoundation is a 5013 providing support to the massage therapy profession. Since1990, MTF has provided over $1 million in research grants studying the sciencebehind therapeutic massage.

MTF founded and publishes anopen-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal and provides many educationalresources for massage therapists, educators and students. MTF also providescommunity service grants to populations in need of therapeutic massage whowould otherwise lack access.

  • A Roadmap for the New Year: 22 Trends
  • $60K+ MTs Share Income Strategies
  • Mobile Massage Therapy Offers New Opportunities
  • Creating a Sense of Urgency will Push You to Create a Thriving Practice
  • Activate Your Creeper Beeper

Can Massages Prevent Or Treat Dementia And Its Symptoms

There is a small amount of evidence that massages can help manage symptoms associated with dementia, such as anxiety, agitation and depression. Although massage therapies show promise, so far studies have not been rigorous enough to provide solid evidence. Further research, with a greater number of participants, is required.

What treatments exist for people with dementia?

Find out more about the different treatments that can be used for dementia.

You May Like: Massage Envy Palm Beach Gardens Us 1

The Great River Of Life

Theproper function of our brains is largely dependent on the effective andefficient exchange of nutrients and toxins between the tissues. Thephysiological system that is responsible for carrying out this role is calledthe CranioSacral System, a semi-hydraulic system that envelopes the brain andspinal cord and helps create, absorb and regulate the flow of cerebrospinalfluid, a clear, colorless liquid that serves as a shock absorber for thecentral nervous system, but also circulates nutrients and chemicals filteredfrom the blood and removes waste products from the brain.

Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, the father of Osteopathy, calls the cerebrospinal fluid The Great River of Life in the Body and describes it as the highest known element in the human body which abundant flow must be guaranteed in order for our bodies to stay healthy and fully functional.

The CranioSacral System was first described by osteopath John E. Upledger, DOO, OMM , who, based on his research at the University of Michigan, also developed CranioSacral Therapy, a gentle, non-invasive manual therapy that works with the CranioSacral Rhythm, the ebb and flow of the cerebrospinal fluid in the body, to detect and release restrictions in the body.

Michael Morgan, LMT, CST-D, instructor at the Upledger Institute, took Upledgers research a step further and discovered that in people with senile dementia, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid was actually decreased by 75% in comparison to a healthy adult.

Effect Of Head And Face Massage On Agitation In Elderly Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Massage Therapy for Dementia Patients Benefits

Document Type : Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper

1 Geriatric Care Nursing MSc Student, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Student Research Committee, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Geriatric Care Research Center, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Geriatric Care Research Center, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran


Background:Aim: Method: Results:Implications for Practice:



Massage consists of several mechanisms of action, including biomechanical , physical , neurological , and psychosocial mechanisms . In the light of this, several studies have been performed in various domains including pain management , palliative care, and care for individuals in nursing homes .

However, studies have mostly focused on the massage of the neck and shoulders. Further research on massage therapy under special circumstances is required to ascertain the effects and benefits of massage therapy. Currently, an increasing shift is observed toward the use of non-pharmacological interventions, including music therapy , aromatherapy , and massage , to reduce the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.




Also Check: How To Increase Massage Business

Some Call Alzheimers Disease The Greatest Tragedy Of The 21st Century

Tremendous research efforts have been dedicated to learning more about the causes and possible treatment approaches for this debilitating and devastating brain disease.

According to the American Brain Foundation, brain diseases affect the lives of one in six people, bringing the total number of people suffering from neurological disorders to one billion worldwide. Brain disease has many different forms, ranging from concussion to stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraines, brain tumors, brain trauma or ALS, just to name a few.

Mr Direct Full Body Massage Chair

Massage Chair does not have a programmed body filtering framework yet, simultaneously, to help people who have a generally taller body outline, the massage chair further highlights manual foot expansions which at that point permits the chair to serve both short and tall people. It consists of 8 massage joint points each of which targets core muscles within the Back Bones of users. Furthermore, total of 35 airbags works in complete synchronization to deliver an ideal massage experience.

Read Also: Self Massage For Lower Back Pain

More Information On Dementia:

I am not a Dementia Care Specialist by any means, and this blog is based on: my observations, personal experience and further reading. If you’d like to find out more or need advice about living with dementia and helping others living with the condition, please contact Alzheimer’s Society who are here to help: 0300 222 1122, or see here for more information:

Wish me luck for my first day! I’ll let you know how it all goes, and also share any tips I pick up for those of you who are carers for any elderly loved ones. I admire you all – what a selfless and wonderful thing you are doing.

Why Perform Massage For Alzheimer Patients

GWEP 13 Massage for the Treatment of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

For patients who are living in a state of confusion, a calming massage can relax, reassure, and comfort. Caretakers and patients benefit from the relaxing, meditative results from the calming touch and grounded state provided by a massage.

Alzheimers / Dementia patients get a momentary respite from the racing thoughts, discomfort, and bewilderment they live with day-to-day. As a non-pharmacologic approach, massage can be a low-cost, effective strategy for dealing with behavioral symptoms such as wandering and restlessness that can endanger a patient.

A massage helps bring Alzheimers patients back to the present and returns them to their bodies to deeply relax and relish human contact. For those who are separated from family and friends, this caring, gentle touch can ease the fear and loneliness often associated with dementia and Alzheimers.

All Body Kneads is honored to work with your family member, friend, or patient who is living with Alzheimers or dementia. We use a specially formulated lotion to address the thinning skin of elderly patients and we make sure the space is always warm, serene, and welcoming.

The reality is the caregiverwhether he or she is a spouse, adult child, relative, or friendis the single most challenged, misunderstood, and ignored participant in the care and treatment of a person with Alzheimers disease. ~ Porter Shimer

Don’t Miss: Massage Therapy Mblex Practice Test

Technology And Target Group

Touch massage can be used as a general term to cover, eg, tactile stimulation, peripheral tactile nerve stimulation, tactile massage, aromatherapy massage, hand massage, expressive physical touch, and effleurage. Touch massage is given to patients, eg, with dementia, as a complement to other treatment and nursing care, as a part of daily care activities. The aims of treatment are to give patients a greater sense of well-being, reduce stress, and relieve pain, thereby decreasing anxiety and aggressive behaviors in the patient. Touch massage may be applied to different areas of the body and carried out by staff or family carers. The frequency and length of massage treatment varies, and the potential target group is large.

Why Dont More Alzheimers Patients Get Massage Therapy

Unfortunately, Alzheimers patients are an under-served segment for massage and bodywork modalities. Some family members and caretakers associate massage with the deep tissue massages they have received and fear a massage would be hard on elderly loved ones. Massage for Alzheimers patients and massage for the elderly is more often a soothing combination of touch, massage, and deep listening.

Massage therapists concentrate on shoulders, head, neck, and face with gentle rotations and fingertip friction. If the response is positive with the massage for an Alzheimers patient, lower back, hips, and feet are included to help with range of motion and age-related joint stiffness.

Read Also: Hand And Stone Massage Southern Pines

Massage May Soothe Alzheimer’s Patients

Touch is “very effective for patients with dementia because it’s something they remember,” says Dawn Nelson, a massage therapist with Compassionate Touch in Walnut Creek, Calif. “We need touch our whole lives, not just when we we’re babies.”

The main thing massage does is enhance the quality of life for Alzheimer patients, helping them to relax and sleep better, Nelson says. “I think it’s mostly a psychosocial benefit,” she says. “But when done with lotions, it does soothe the skin, and it increases circulation.”

Connie Tjaden, a licensed massage therapist in New York, takes that a step further: “You see an increase in circulation, so the memory loss is not as apparent, especially when patients get treated on a regular basis.” Tjaden says that as little as 10 minutes of massage, applied to the right location three times a week, will do it.

But actual studies of the effect of massage therapy on Alzheimer’s are few and far between. Research from 1997 showed a dramatic effect on agitated Alzheimer’s patients’ behavior when massage therapy was continued for six months. Eighty percent of those studied exhibited less abnormal behavior, and a third became relaxed enough during their massage sessions to get sleepy — which sounds great, until you consider that only four people were tested.

For more information from WebMD, see our Diseases and Conditions page on Alzheimer’s.

Show Sources

Take Care Of Yourself

Massage Therapy for Dementia Patients Benefits

Self-care for massage practitioners is crucial when working with clients who have dementia. Confide in a trusted mentor or colleague, and get massage as often as possible.

Perhaps most important of all: Empower yourself by talking with your own family about their wishes for their later years, and creating a plan for your own.

About the Author:Julie Goodwin, L.M.T., is an author, bodywork educator, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork-approved provider and creator of Her 32-year massage practice focused on elders and people in treatment for cancer. She has presented at American Massage Therapy National Conventions and the AMTA Schools Summit, and is the 2016 Alliance for Massage Therapy Education Educator of the Year.

You May Like: Best Online Massage Therapy Continuing Education

Interpretation Of The Sc And Saa Results

Analyses revealed that the control and intervention groups differed significantly in terms of their salivary cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase patterns across weeks and times of day . A post hoc test of the specific changes between times of day revealed that the main differences between the two groups were found during week 2, when the patients received their fourth massage. In that second week, we observed unique and unexpected increases in sC and sAA at the end of the intervention groups fourth massage, followed by a significant decrease in both biomarkers 20 min later. Nurses notes indicated that during this massage some patients sustained positive verbal interaction, did not want to continue with a long massage, or were a little tense. Three patients showed sexual behaviors which nurses felt were unpleasant. These behaviors were not reported during the massages in weeks 1 and 3.

It is noteworthy that our samples mean sC and sAA levels exhibited substantial individual variability, with large standard deviations. These results appear to indicate particularly high mean sC and sAA levels compared with those of healthy older adults . This could be a sign of elevated stress and may indicate dysregulation of the HPA axis and the ANS, which may alter stress-response in patients with Alzheimers disease . These findings highlight the importance of developing therapeutic tools to reduce stress among vulnerable populations.

How To Find Dementia Therapy

It is advisable to discuss any proposed complementary therapies with your loved ones doctor to ensure that there will not be any harmful reactions with their current treatment. The doctor may be able to recommend a reputable local practitioner or possibly refer your loved one through the NHS.

Although complementary therapies can help people who are living with dementia, it is important to retain a realistic view and not expect a magical solution to their problems.

Some of the most widely practised complementary therapies are outlined below.

Also Check: Scottsdale Spa & Holistic Massage Therapy

You Have A Powerful Tool To Help People With Dementia

May 1st, 2007

Learn how a caring massage professional can help ease the fear and isolation and improve the well-being of those with dementia. Massage and bodywork can be powerful tools in helping people with this progressive loss of mental function.

Want to earn continuing education credit for this article? Learn more.

Most common in the elderly and marked by a progressive decline of brain function, dementia is the impairment of reasoning, memory and other cognitive abilities. This decline eventually impacts daily activities, limiting everything from driving to bathing to feeding. About 4 to 5 million people in the United States have some degree of dementia, and that number is estimated to increase over the next few decades as the population ages. The most well known form of dementia is Alzheimers disease. While there is no cure for dementia or Alzheimers disease, evidence suggests that alternative therapies can improve their symptoms and greatly benefit a persons quality of life.

Massage Therapy For Dementia Patients

Does massage improve agitation in people with dementia?

Dementia refers to a cluster of symptoms resulting from brain disorders that greatly impair cognitive skills, without causing a loss of consciousness. At the onset, patients experience memory loss, confusion, language problems, changes in mood and difficulty performing daily tasks. This leads to an increase in anxiety and agitation, sometimes causing the patient to act out in ways often considered socially unacceptable or improper. Many dementia patients become sensory deprived as their faculties fade but the basic need for touch remains constant.

As hospice patients lose sensory and cognitive skills, they become unable to interact socially which leads to feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety and agitation. Touch often remains the last form of communication when all other avenues have surrendered to the disease. When massage therapy is administered to patients in the end stages of dementia it fosters feelings of intimacy and emotional connectedness for the patient.

In all, the benefits of therapeutic massage for those with dementia provide relief from many aspects of the disease, such as anxiety, agitation, depression, pain and loss of appetite. Massage also serves as a way to remain connected and encourages feelings of tenderness and closeness for those who may not otherwise be able to communicate.

You May Like: Massage Near My Current Location

Dementia And The Benefits Of Hand Massage For Sensory Stimulation

Over 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. My husbands grandma had vascular dementia, and its likely you know someone living with the disease. Dementia changes how we communicate with our loved ones, and sensory stimulation is so important to bring people together, create a meaningful connection and improve your loved ones wellbeing.

The Phases Of Alzheimers Disease

What is Alzheimers disease? According to Robert Butler, in his Merck Manual of Geriatrics contribution 1, it is a progressive neuropsychiatric disease of aging found in middle-aged and, particularly, in older adults affecting brain matter and characterized by the inexorable loss of cognitive function, as well as affective and behavioral disturbances. It is a major public health issue. Treatment costs now exceed well over $40 billion/year.

This tells us that the disease is progressive and that it destroys parts of the brain and hence is incurable. From Butlers definition, we can also deduce that there must be several forms of the disease, because of the use of the term Alzheimers Type. His definition also implies that there are other kinds of dementia. But, according to the Merck Manual of Geriatrics, Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type accounts for over half of all dementia cases. We also come to this important sentence in the Merck Manual of Geriatrics chapter on symptoms and signs: SDAT can be subdivided according to clinical stage, but there is great variability and the progression of stages often is not as orderly as the following description implies.

The Merck Manual of Geriatrics goes on to describe the three stages of the disease as follows:

You May Like: Best Place To Get A Massage In Las Vegas

Cst As A Promising Treatment

Eventhough the discovery of the glymphatic system happened fairly recently, theconcept of a strong motion of cerebrospinal fluid through the central nervoussystem had already been described in the 1980s by Dr. Upledger. He developed theso-called Pressure-Stat Model by describing a system of production andabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid under pressure within the meninges, the duralmembranes encasing the brain and spinal cord.

Basedon extensive research in a multidisciplinary team at Michigan State University,Upledger developed CranioSacral Techniques that focus on enhancing andrestoring fluid movement within the brain and spinal cord to facilitateadequate flushing of accumulated waste products and, therefore, adetoxification not only in the brain but ultimately the whole body system.

Accordingto Morgan, there are five ways in which CranioSacral Therapy can benefitpatients with dementia and Alzheimers disease. Based on his research and workwith the senior population, he has found that CranioSacral Therapy works by:

1.Increasing the movement of cerebrospinal fluid, which supports the removal ofwaste products and helps improve brain function

2.Lowering sympathetic tone to encourage relaxation and reduction of stresslevels so the body is better equipped to stay healthy

3.Reducing inflammation through the body and brain by assisting the immune system

4.Facilitating recovery from brain trauma, injury and concussion

5.Improving overall memory and brain function

Popular Articles
Related news