My Mom was recently diagnosed with dementia, and because I’ve been made aware of it, it seems very prominent these days. As I’m learning about this illness, it’s heartbreaking in so many ways. In advanced cases, you may not even know who you are let alone the people around you! Can you imagine the level of fear you would have under these conditions? I’m positively pleased to present today’s guest article by regular contributor, Chelsea Sawyer.
Dementia is a condition which impairs memory, communication, focus and reasoning. Although it can affect anyone, the most common occurrence is in older adults and seniors. People afflicted with dementia can show aggressive behaviour and irritability that can, at times, be a problem for loved ones.
Most patients, due to a combination of age and degenerating mental and motor functions, are housed in nursing homes where they can be taken care of 24/7. In the absence of loved ones and friends who can look out for their well-being, homes often employ the services of massage therapists to give dementia patients some form of relief.
Nicolle Mitchell, the leading proponent and trainer of massage for people with dementia, has been preaching the value of massage and therapy in the improvement of patients. She reveals how a combination of time, touch and the right mode of communication can impact those afflicted with dementia.
Therapeutic touch expresses affection
Studies show that dementia patients are quite receptive to massage, particularly the feeling of being touched and caressed. This is somewhat taken by patients as a form of affection and is often reciprocated with proper behaviour and more relaxed response. Part of this positive impact is the release of happy hormones during the massage session that improve well-being.
Massage eases anxiety and erases past fears
Patients may have had several bad episodes in their past that remain hidden during their conscious states, but come back during the degenerative stages of dementia. For those who are experiencing these fears, a gentle massage can help create a feeling of safety and security, much like how kids are reassured when having bad dreams and nightmares. Others with a nervous or apprehensive nature may also be comforted by massage.
Constant treatment builds a trusting environment
As massage sessions become more frequent or as the treatment progresses, patients will feel more welcoming of the easing sensation that the therapy brings. Those with dementia, who are often reserved and easily irritated, will improve their reception of other people wanting to share with their space and environment. Patients become more open and trusting, which consequently leads to a calmer and relaxed persona.
The School of Natural Therapies usually holds training sessions, run by Nicolle Mitchell, for Massaging People with Dementia. Apart from this patient-specific course, they also offer classes in more generalized areas such as clinical sports, reflexology, and deep tissue massage course. London therapists have been flocking to their classes to earn certifications required for practice. They even hold weekday classes for pregnancy massage courses.
About the Author
Chelsea Sawyer is a certified health coach and a content creator. She writes about health and fitness, beauty, weight loss, anti-aging solutions and other topics that can help improve health. She draws inspiration from this site for today’s article. Know more about dementia massage courses.
What do you think about massaging as a means of treating the effects of dementia?