JUN 2018

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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G e r i a t r i c M a s s a g e [ 46 ] • # dayspamagazine • june 2018 different strokes The service is performed by therapists who have advanced training specifi c to cancer, cancer treatments and the side eff ects of both. "Each client must give us a health history and information on their current medical care, as well as permission to talk to their doctor so we'll be aware of any contraindications," explains Spurgeon. "Therapists must steer clear of areas where there is bone cancer involvement, tumor sites, radiation sites, limbs at risk of deep vein thrombosis, areas of swelling or redness, and open lesions. Techniques to avoid include deep pressure and joint movement on limbs or quadrants at risk for lymphedema." The type and stage of the cancer, as well as treatment plans and side eff ects, will dictate when a massage should be modifi ed or avoided altogether. Scenarios that may contraindicate this service include thrombosis (the formation of a clot within a blood vessel); infection; recent surgery; and lymphedema, which is typically a concern following surgery in which lymph nodes have been removed. Spurgeon says that clients who regularly get massages while undergoing cancer treatment are far less anxious about the outcome of their disease and care than those who don't. "This increased relaxation helps guide their body to a state of homeostasis so it's better able to heal itself," she notes. Geriatric Massage (30-60 min./$30-$60) Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute, Indianapolis Sharon Puszko, Phd, LMT, off ers this service to clients 65 years and older in retirement communities, as well as in their private homes. "Aging is a process, not an illness, and seniors can be extremely robust—but thousands of people a day are turning 65," she points out. "That's a lot of individuals who need massage." The average geriatric patient typically gets a 30-minute massage, and it's usually performed with clients lying on their backs. "Turning over can be painful and stressful, particularly if they have arthritis or have had hip or joint replacement surgery," says Puszko. "The supine pose also makes it easier for them to get on and off the table." While clients are in that position, Puszko massages the legs, arms, neck, face and head, and then has them either turn onto their side or sit up so she can massage the back, consistently using a stroke called "fl uffi ng," created by the late Day-Break founder Dietrich W. Miesler. "It's like a kneading compression stroke you do with your forefi ngers," explains Puszko. "We don't do any long, stripping strokes because the skin could tear or bruise." There's also no stretching or pulling of the joints; instead they are gently rotated. For this treatment, Puszko uses Bon Vital' Complete Massage Crème, as well as the brand's lotion. "We prefer the unscented original product because it absorbs really well, plus a lot of seniors have respiratory problems," she notes. Biofreeze is applied at the very end for sore muscles and arthritis. Therapists wanting to off er geriatric massage should take a continuing education class. "You have to be aware that no matter how robust the client may be, as people age their skin and bones get thinner, and many of them are on blood-thinning medications," stresses Puszko. "They may also have had joint, knee or hip replacements—all of which must be massaged in a specifi c way so as not to bruise the client, injure them or tear their skin." Ultimately, she says, it's crucial that therapists use common sense and receive the proper training. Most aging clients will likely get a doctor's approval before even booking a massage, since the list of contraindications includes re cent surgeries and certain medications, notes Puszko. "It's not necessary to consult with a doctor for every guest over 65—just those who are health-challenged or have specifi c conditions that therapists should be aware of," she adds. In addition to relieving aches and pains, this off ering allows seniors to experience human contact and touch—something they may not regularly receive as they get older. "Many clients are widows or widowers, or others may be afraid to touch them for fear of hurting them," explains Puszko. "So, having contact with another person who is listening, both with their ears and with their hands, can be tremendously benefi cial." u © GETTY IMAGES "Thousands of people a day are turning 65. That's a lot of individuals who need massage."

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