3 Types of Massage that Help the Bedridden
Posted in the Spinal Cord Injuries Forum
Since: Apr 10
#1 Apr 24, 2010
Bedridden patients can benefit greatly from a massage. A pressure mattress is crucial, but not enough, to stimulate the tissues, muscles, and organs in the body; hence, a massage works great to improve the patient’s circulation and to invigorate the muscles to avoid their atrophy.
But, the benefits of a massage in bedridden patients go beyond the physical aspect. This kind of therapy also makes them feel calmer and reduces stress, helping alleviate pain.
There are 3 types of massages that you can recommend to your bedridden loved one:
1. Myofascial massage
This massage involves the whole body and it is done to relieve the tension in the fascia, which is the fibrous connective tissue that ties muscles and organs together in the body.
The physiotherapist uses long and stretching movements to relax the muscles that are tense. It is a soft massage that can help alleviate pain.
With slow, steady rubs that are directed towards the heart, blood flow through the body is increased, and in this way, additional oxygen and nutrients can flow more easily to the tissues to enhance the healing process and to relieve pain.
The movement works out the heart muscle and offers training support to the arteries.
2. Swedish massage
This type of massage is more aggressive than the myofascial and is recommended for patients who suffer from muscles spasms and acute pain. The movements of the Swedish massage affect the muscles, joints, ligaments, and fascia.
Besides improving circulation, this massage enhances breathing capability, reduces the swelling produced by fluid retention, soothes the nerves, and improves flexibility and joint range of motion.
To enhance the healing benefits, the physiotherapist uses hot and cold applications while doing the massage. Depending on the patient’s level of comfort, the rubs can be gentle or strong.
The ligaments are massaged along and across to stimulate the drainage of toxins and flexibility, and the strong vertical rubs imitate the effects of exercise.
The therapist uses fast vibrating movements to help clear the lungs, to control muscle and joint pain, and to generate muscle contractions. To alleviate aching joints and to produce a feeling of wellness, the Swedish massage includes compression done with warm oil.
3. Geriatric massage
This type of massage uses many techniques and is tailored to the patient. It treats emotional states as much as physical ones that are normal in elderly people, and is mainly used in hospitals and nursing homes to help seniors that are bedridden.
People who have to remain in bed for long periods of time need soft massage rubs with oil to help alleviate bedsores and pressure points, and it is also vital to consider arthritis, high blood pressure, brittle bones, and hardened arteries, when defining a massage routine for the elderly.
The geriatric massage may use techniques from the Swedish and myofascial types, plus others from more gentle therapies like Reiki and aromatherapy. The physiotherapist must be specially trained to deal with the needs of bedridden seniors to ensure the patient is professionally cared for.
Rachel Clarkson is a bed sores specialist and a big fan and promoter of “The Volkner Turning Mattress”: http://www.Volkner.com
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