Senior citizens may consider Reflexology for overall wellness, pain management of arthritis and other conditions, constipation, fatigue, lethargy, cognitive disorders, stress, relaxation, improved balance and walking and for loving touch.
Seniors can really use healthy beneficial Reflexology work with a professional and caring Reflexologist. It is non invasive and the person is fully clothed except for shoes and socks.
It is a gentle modality that can be administered with either the client lying down, or seated in a recliner.
Apart from all the health benefits listed below.. Reflexology gives the older person the gift of touch and human contact often lacking in later years. The power of gentle, positive touch, given with respect and care cannot be underestimated. Caring touch can have profound, positive effects on the mental and emotional state of the elderly. There is also undivided individual attention given. Help may be given with relaxation, lessening stress, and loosening and oxygenation of joints, tissues and muscles. These alone are invaluable.
Reflexologists do not claim to extend the life of their clients, but to assist in the quality of it. Maybe that will mean a day free of pain for one person or a week of regular bowel movements for another. Maintenance sessions might be planned weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as needed.
See "What is Reflexology?"
Other possible health benefits for seniors that use Reflexology:
* Better awareness of the feet through the stimulation of the nerve endings. This in turn may help to improve balance and gait which may have the person feeling more confident about moving around unassisted.
*Better circulation of the feet and legs through better oxygenation
*Helpful for clients recovering from hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery.
*Some seniors feel the sessions will maintain or extend their current level of foot and leg health and use the sessions as prevention.
*As an individual relaxes, daily frustrations can seem less overwhelming. A person who feels better after a reflexology treatment may be also more inclined to be physically active or to socialize with others.
*Calms the nervous system and promotes deep relaxation. Reflexology may calm the anxious or agitated person who feels frightened, depressed or out of control. The person feels less lonely, and is reassured that he or she is still important. May also be calming for some with cognitive disorders.
*Range of limb motion
Frequency of sessions:
The frequency of sessions are based on individual needs. To maximize the effects of Reflexology it is recommended that a course of 4 to 6 treatments are carried out at weekly intervals to begin with. After that, maintenance treatments may be required every three to six months. However, many people enjoy the relaxation promoted by Reflexology so much that they continue with regular weekly treatments.
Some cautions using Reflexology with seniors:
*A professional reflexologist will be aware of fragile bones, thin skin, injuries, contractures and bruising and will work gently.
*Often an older client has a number of health conditions and the reflexologist will not give too strong of a session so as to cause discomfort.
*Loss of sensation
***The client should consider that Reflexology is not a cure or cure-all and should consult with their primary care doctor before starting on a Reflexology program and for all health related questions and challenges.