8 Blends & Remedies: Massage with Essential Oils  for the Elderly

8 Blends & Remedies: Massage with Essential Oils for the Elderly

Found In: Activities Sensory Articles Aromatherapy

Massage has a profound effect on the sensory nervous system, stimulating blood flow and improving health and wellbeing. For the elderly, many of whom are touch deprived, the benefits of massage go well beyond the physical.

Massage has a profound effect on the sensory nervous system, stimulating blood flow and improving health and wellbeing. For the elderly, many of whom are touch deprived, the benefits of massage go well beyond the physical.

In this article we cover:

  • Getting Started with Massage & Essential Oils
  • Benefits of Massage & Essential Oils
  • Different Ways to Use Essential Oils
  • 6 Tips for Massaging Elders
  • 7 Cautions & Considerations
  • 8 Mixtures & Remedies

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Diane 25th Jun 2021
I use essential oils daily for my family and love them. I have also been diffusing /massaging on my 89 year young father. He enjoys the smells as well as the hand/foot massages.

This program is amazing! My Dad and I learn new things everyday
Talita 26th Jun 2021
Thank you so much for your feedback Diane! Your father is lucky to have you x
Evangeline 19th Jan 2021 Registered Manager
I am not a ‘ professional aromatherapist’ but the benefits of these amazing smells alone to a resident with dementia can be immediately beneficial through just smell alone. I myself can feel instantly less anxious or stressed if I have certain ‘smells’ around me. We are about to introduce massage therapy to the home I am managing now as I feel strongly that especially someone with mid to late stage dementia benefits so much from the two senses of touch and smell. We will obviously ensure a risk assessment is completed for each resident prior to carrying out any massage and check for any ‘dislike to a smell’ ‘irritation’ or other contraindications. We must always ensure that we are following instructions to ensure correct amounts are used etc. Thank you again for another valuable source of information on your site Solange and also Thankyou to Angela for all your information as an aromatherapist. Keep well keep safe
Talita 25th Jan 2021
Thank you so much for your feedback Evangeline. I think you're absolutely right, activities that involve touch and smell can provide wonderful benefits for people living with dementia. We'd love to hear how it goes. All the best!
Brandy 27th Jan 2019 Music Therapist
You have to use pure oils and those are not sold at the stores. They are not regulated by the FDA, so oils on a shelf can be labeled as 100% pure with only 5% of the actual oil. The rest can be fillers. Also, check the labels. Most of them say "not for topical use". When you see that, it means it's perfume grade and that just dosn't have the healing properties the pure ones have.
Solange 27th Jan 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Brandy, you are quite right It is better to buy essential oil online from a reputable company.
Angela 8th Jan 2019 Complementary Therapist
I just wanted to add a few comments. Although this article quite rightly states that you should consult a qualified Aromatherapist and also that you should seek clinical approval to see if Aromatherapy would be ok for each client, I think it is too risky for anyone who is not a qualified Aromatherapist to practice Aromatherapy as there are too many variables. Not all, but most people in long term care facilities, as well as having their complex medical conditions to manage, are on many different types of medications. It's the job of the professional qualified Aromatherapist to get a Doctor's consent before treatment and to take all of this into consideration before treating anyone. You have to have a sound knowledge of contra-indications to massage and aromatherapy and also a sound knowledge of the oils, how they interact with other oils in a blend and very importantly which oils should not be used with certain conditions and with certain medications because of interactions. As a very rough example, lavender is widely considered to be one of the safer oils but it has the potential to lower blood pressure, so in someone who already has low blood pressure, this oil should not be used. Lemon and Bergamot mentioned above, can cause sensitivity and can also be photo-sensitive, so should not be used if you are then going out in bright sunlight because of the possibility of a skin reaction. Ylang ylang mentioned above can cause sensitivity in some individuals and because of it's very strong aroma, can cause headaches or nausea. I wouldn't recommend putting essential oil drops straight into a bath, as the oil droplets can sit on the top of the water and become very concentrated on that part of someone's skin. It's advisable to put the correct amount of essential oil drops first into some milk or carrier oil, mix well and then add to bath and disperse and mix well into the bath. I would also never add as many as 10 drops into a bath, especially for frail or vulnerable individuals. I'm sorry if this appears to be quite picky, but I think that it is important to advise people of these safety issues and precautions, so that the benefits of massage and aromatherapy can be enjoyed by all safely. My opinion on this is as a qualified professional Aromatherapist.
Solange 10th Jan 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Angela, thank you for your comments. It would be wonderful if a qualified Aromatherapist was available at every facility but often they are not. When this is the case, I feel that Activity Professionals should use their common sense and follow the guidance of aromatherapy recipes from books and websites, and consult with clinical staff regarding skin integrity, allergies, and other possible contraindications. Physical touch is very important and a fundamental human need. I would place my mother in a facility where she could have the benefit of being touched by kind and caring hands - unskilled but guided - over a facility where Activity staff were not allowed to delve into the wonderful world of essential oils.
Susan 6th Jan 2019 Activity Director
I have found mixed results with lavender
You must treat agitation early for the best results