Practice Safe Massage for Elderly Patients - by admin@mcb on July 20 2017

Practice Safe Massage for Elderly Patients

As part of our continuing education for massage therapy courses we encourage therapists to expand their business and begin taking on new patients. One of the quickest growing demographics for massage patients is aging adults. These patients are seeking massage to relax, rejuvenate, and help treat common medical issues associated with aging.

massage therapy business

Although every massage client is different we do suggest several general guidelines for working with elderly patients:

  • Reduce session length Treatment sessions for elderly patients are typically shorter than standard massage sessions. Aim for about 30 minutes. If time allows and the patient wants to continue you can extend the session based on specific needs.
  • Lighten up As people age their skin changes. This requires massage therapists to change their approach when treating elderly patients. Reduce the amount of downward pressure you exert and be careful not to apply too much sliding force.
  • Be aware Pay close attention to the patient’s body during the treatment session. Be aware that many patients prefer sitting or the supine position instead of the prone position.  Take care not to require too many position changes.
  • Remain flexible Understanding the needs of an elderly patient is important. Take time to talk to the patient about specific requests such as only scheduling during daylight hours, traveling to their home for the appointment, and using a couch or favorite chair instead of a massage table.

The Institute of Somatic Therapy is ready to help you master new skills and knowledge to take your massage practice to the next level. Visit our website today to learn more about the courses we offer in continuing education for massage therapy.


Aromatherapy Massage for Diabetic Patients - by admin@mcb on July 06 2017

Aromatherapy Massage for Diabetic Patients

Aromatherapy Massage for Diabetic Patients

Aromatherapy massage was recently shown to have a measurable improvement on neuropathic pain in diabetic patients. A study, published in the June 2017 Journal of Nursing Scholarship, sought to determine if massage with essential oils could lessen neuropathic pain in diabetic patients. The researchers found that diabetic patients who had been suffering with painful diabetic neuropathy realized a significant decrease of pain. Patients also experienced a significant increase of quality of life by adding aromatherapy massage to their care routines.

Research Results

The study, performed in Turkey, compared 21 patients who received the aromatherapy massage with 25 control patients who did not. The essential oils used in the study were rosemary, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile. The massage was given three times per week for a total of four weeks. The control group received only routine care, with no aromatherapy or massage of any kind. Data was compiled with the use of two different patient questionnaires (one targeting pain, the other targeting quality of life), along with a visual analog scale.

Based on the significant decrease of pain among the patients in the study group, as well as the reported increase in quality of life, researchers concluded that aromatherapy massage is a simple, effective, drug-free method to reduce pain and improve quality of life in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain.

The complete citation for the study is as follows: Gok Metin, Z., Arikan Donmez, A., Izgu, N., Ozdemir, L. and Arslan, I. E. (2017), Aromatherapy Massage for Neuropathic Pain and Quality of Life in Diabetic Patients. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. doi:10.1111/jnu.12300

The full article can be downloaded at

Aromatherapy Massage Certification

To learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy for conditions routinely experienced in a massage setting, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers a course in Aromatherapy for Massage. Some of the conditions covered in the course include arthritis, circulation problems, edema, headaches, inflammation, joint pain, muscle soreness, sports massage, sprains, stress, and more.

There are 32 essential oils covered in the course. They are: Basil, Bergamot, Birch, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemongrass, Orange, Patchouli, Pepper, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Thyme, Vetiver, and Ylang Ylang. Students have the option to submit internship paperwork to become certified in aromatherapy massage.