Massage Therapy Increases Quality of Life in Older Adults

Older adults get lots of benefits from receiving massage.  The complete abstract (abbreviated article) from is below my comments here.  (PubMed comes from the National Institutes of Health.)
In a nutshell, it says the study was with people age 60 and older who had persistent pain.  It says they felt better physically and emotionally.  It also says massage may be worth looking into as a treatment for pain in older adults.
Well, I should say so!
Massage therapy is a wonderful treatment for pain and aches of all sorts.  And because it is one-on-one, it gives the older adult companionship as well as a treatment that provides relaxation and stress reduction.
If you only can afford one hour of massage a month, it is better to split it into two sessions.  Have two half-hours a month and your muscles will more easily remember how they are supposed to be.
J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jul;17(7):609-16. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Massage therapy usage and reported health in older adults experiencing persistent pain.


Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky , Lexington, KY.


Abstract Background: Persistent pain is a frequent complaint among older adults and can greatly decrease quality of life while also contributing to other negative outcomes such as poor health, increased pharmaceutical medication usage, increased rates of depression, and cognitive decline. Objective: The current study (N = 69) examines the potential impact of massage therapy (MT) in older adults (60+ years) with persistent pain, by comparing self-reported health outcome scores among those who have and have not utilized massage therapy in the past year. Design: The current study was derived from a larger study that collected data as part of a one-time, self-report, mail-in survey. Participants: Lexington, Kentucky area adults, 60 and older who reported persistent pain were eligible to participate in the study. Outcome measures: The RAND 36-Item Health Survey was used to determine participant health-related quality of life. Results: The current study demonstrated that for older adults experiencing persistent pain, massage is associated with self-report of less limitation due to physical or emotional issues, better emotional health, more energy/less fatigue, better social functioning, and better overall health. Age, education, cumulative morbidities, number of areas in which participants reported experiencing persistent pain, and number of complementary and alternative medicine options in addition to MT utilized in the past year did not affect the association between receipt of massage and better self-reports in those domains. Conclusions: While many causes of pain for older adults elude cure, further study is warranted that examines MT as an intervention to improve coping in older adults with persistent pain.

[PubMed – in process]