Massage has been proven to help relieve the effects of chronic pain, such as back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. And massage’s proven ability to increase circulation means that its other byproducts include an increase in balance and flexibility, improved posture, and improved wellness.
All this means one thing: The field of geriatric massage should be growing rapidly as the above-mentioned benefits are ideal for senior citizens. And, indeed, the AMTA reported in its most recent fact sheet that geriatric massage was one of the most popular choices for continuing education among certified and licensed massage therapists. And a recent survey performed by the AMTA showed that the number of older adults receiving massage had increased by %300 from 2008 – 2009.
Despite the substantial health benefits of geriatric massage, it is a shift in the demographics of America that is most likely the biggest factor pushing this sizable increase in the amount of senior citizens receiving massage and of professional massage therapists pursuing geriatric massage abilities. Consider that there are 35,000,000 Americans over the age of 65 right now, and that the average American currently lives to 76. With the Baby Boomer Generation swelling the number of the elderly in America, by 2020 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 60!
This substantial population shift should mean that a burgeoning field of geriatric massage is increasing in popularity all across America. But, as I’ll explore in my next entry next week, this isn’t necessarily the case.