403D Gordon Drive
Exton PA, 19341 (map)
Call Today: (484) 341-8598
Please Leave a Review

Geriatric Massage Certification

Approved for 8 Online Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEU's) for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience. 

Introduction
History
Summary

The elderly are the fastest-growing population segment in the United States.14 The term geriatric or senior citizen refers to individuals 70 years of age or older.5 This group faces many lifestyle and emotional changes such as retirement, reduced income, and loss of loved ones.68 Geriatric massage is the modification of basic massage techniques and body positions to meet the needs of the elderly. It takes into account physical, psychologic, and socioeconomic factors.9 The elderly present us with unique challenges. There is an increased incidence of disease, medication use, impairment, and disability. Elderly clients may be living at home or in residential care facilities. Because of the latter, modifications for massage in these settings are included in the discussion.

Most Americans consider 65 to be the beginning of old age, probably because U.S. workers originally became eligible to retire with full Social Security benefits at age 65. The age at which a person becomes eligible for full Social Security benefits has increased gradually and will reach age 67 in 2027.10

Sadly, the elderly are the least touched of all age groups in Western health care systems. In a research study by Barnett published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, the age group touched least in medical settings was individuals 66 to 100 years of age.11 However, “The use of touch and physical closeness may be the most important way to communicate to ill and aged persons that they are important as human beings,” says Ashley Montagu, author of Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin.12 Research indicates that social connection is a key component of health and happiness in the elderly when regular massage is received.13 An ongoing relationship with a therapist can be a significant part of life due to the focused attention of a caring person.

At present, there are three main geriatric massage training organizations: Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute, Comfort Touch, and Compassionate Touch.

The oldest organization is Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute founded by Dietrich Miesler in 1982. The techniques are essentially traditional massage therapy adapted to the aging population. There are a few unique techniques such as fluffing, which takes into account thinning skin. After retiring in 1996, Miesler passed ownership of Daybreak to Sharon Puszko, who worked and studied with him for a number of years and remains the institute’s owner-director. Dietrich Miesler died in May 2006.

Comfort Touch was developed by Mary Kathleen Rose. After graduating from massage school in 1985, she began working with HospiceCare. By 1991, she was teaching her form of massage and coined the phrase Comfort Touch. This nurturing form of acupressure, which avoids conventional massage in favor of broad perpendicular pressure, was consistent with the hospice philosophy of palliative care.

Dawn Nelson began teaching Compassionate Touch through an outreach program in San Mateo, California, in 1991, the same year Comfort Touch was introduced. In 79fact, Compassionate Touch is similar in theory and practice to Comfort Touch. Ann Catlin was one of Nelson’s students. Catlin founded the Center for Compassionate Touch in 2002 and still serves as its director.

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” said Bette Davis. And as Joan Lohman points out in her 2001 article,3 neither is providing massage to the elderly, “yet it is as rewarding as it is demanding. It requires a genuine interest in the lives of elders, to ‘get over’ squeamishness about body functions and physical decline, to be willing to enter the sometimes institutionalized world of elders, and to treat our elder clients with dignity, no matter what their eccentricities or circumstances.”

See this technique in practice

A Video Preview

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.



Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience.