How to Massage Elderly Person’s Upper Arm

Today I’m making this video for my friend who is taking care of her 90-year old mother. She told me she is having a hard time massaging her mother’s upper arm. So I’m going to show how to make it easier for her.

When you massage elderlies there are few things to keep in mind. First you want to make sure it is ok to massage them. Often times at that age people have medical conditions. So if they have medical conditions please consult the medical doctor first to make sure if it’s ok to massage them. When you age your skin becomes thin and dry. You do not want to use excess force to overstretch and even tear the skin or break the brittle bones if they have osteoporosis. So no elbow digging Deep Tissues for the elderlies.

My friend told me she is standing when she massages her mother’s upper arm. It depends on the height of the chair and the person but she is probably bending her back to massage. It’s the fastest way to get tired and get a back pain. Instead, I would sit next to your mother.

When you sit next to her, face her instead of twisting your body because this is another way to cause a back pain in no time. Your belly button should be facing her. Also sit close enough so your arm is not stretched out. Try to keep your armpit closed as much as possible because when you leave your armpit open you have to work harder.

My friend’s mother’s pain tolerance is very low which is understandable for being 90 years old. All she needs is a nice caressing. If her skin is very dry and thin I would have her wear a long sleeve to protect her skin. Rest her arm on a cushion or pillow or arm rest if it’s a chair. For the front side of her arm that’s facing you, hold her arm with one hand and caress her upper arm up from the elbow to the shoulder slowly. Follow your hand movement with your torso to save your hands from getting tired quickly. But if your hand does get tired, switch hands. Or alternate hands. You can also make circles up from the elbow. Here’s a big circle with both hands like a mini-breast stroke. To make it less boring, draw imaginary lines. Whole bunch of them. And follow the lines as you go up. Always touch her arm with both your hands for an energy connection and stability. And check with her which one feels good to her.

For the back side of her arm you can stroke down using your palm. You can also alternate hands. I hope this helps you.

I believe the caring touch means a lot to the elderlies. My grandmother lived to the age of 96. When I visited her last at a nursing home in Tokyo she couldn’t tell who I was or say a word. It was way before I became a Massage Therapist but since we couldn’t carry a conversation I started caressing her hands and when I started caressing her cheeks, she said “Arigato” which means thank you in Japanese. It totally surprised me that she was able to say a word but it was really nice to hear especially because that became the last word I heard from her. So give your caring touch to your grandparents if they are still around.

5-25-15 How to Massage the Upper Arm of an Elderly Person