Massage is an accepted health treatment and indulgence amongst the younger generations. However, if you query the older members of Australian society, many of them have a strong reluctance to be massaged. This is a pity, because massage is a wonderful therapy for many symptoms of aging. If you know an older person who would benefit from massage, here are some ways to introduce them to the concept gently.
Explain exactly what will happen
Most people's concerns are the same about how a massage works, the first time they go. Explain in detail what a typical massage room and table look like. Make it clear what clothing they will be expected to remove, what areas of their body will be massaged and how their modesty will be protected.
Involve their GP
Having a trusted medical practitioner confirm the value of massage and list positive reasons to try it will encourage someone to give it a go. It is also sensible to check there are no existing conditions or injuries that would make massage a risky prospect.
Involve the masseur
At the massage therapist's clinic, introduce the masseur to your older friend and give them time to become comfortable with each other and ask any questions. Make sure they have established a dialogue and your friend knows they can say at any time if they are uncomfortable. Check in advance whether your friend would feel better with a male or female masseur, as the gender of the practitioner could be a source of discomfort.
Have a massage with them
If the older person is a close relative, say your mother, suggest a joint massage. She may feel more relaxed and less anxious if you are on a massage table next to her. It may not be as stress-releasing as usual for yourself, but it can also be a lovely bonding experience!
The first massage would be best being short and in a 'safe' body area. A 30 minute shoulder and neck massage is a suitably gentle introduction. An hour of full body massage could be disconcerting for the first encounter. Even after a few sessions, many people may still be reluctant to have a stranger rub their feet, legs and thighs. Give it a few days after the massage to see how their body responded and how their feelings about massage have changed before suggesting another visit.
Hopefully, your older friend or relative will thank you for introducing a wonderful new experience to their life. Learn more by contacting companies like Na's Massage Therapy.