massage for parkinsons disease

Is Massage Good for Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a chronic, progressive, neurological disorder that affects motor skills such as movement and function, as well as non-motor skills such as speech.

Today, it is estimated that Parkinson's Disease affects at least 1% of people world-wide over the age of 60. And while there have been significant steps forward in research and treatment options in recent years, there is still no known cure for Parkinson's Disease. 

Whilst the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease present differently in those affected, some of the most common movement-related symptoms include tremors and rigidity which can worsen over time.

For those affected, or for family members of those affected, it’s important to look for ways to treat and control the symptoms to ensure the best quality of life. In this article, we’ll look at massage (therapeutic and massage aids), and the role that massage can play in helping to provide comfort for those affected by Parkinson's Disease.

Can massage be used to manage Parkinson's Disease?

Massage therapy has been linked to relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease and helping patients to maintain a higher quality of life.

A 2016 report by Yolanda Casciaro, BSc, RMT of studies conducted into massage therapy and Parkinson’s Disease titled “Massage Therapy Treatment and Outcomes for a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease: a Case Report” found a significant positive correlation between massage therapy and an improvement in both motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.

The report which cited a number of studies that have been conducted over the years found that therapeutic massage in Parkinson’s Disease patients helped to enhance motor function, reduce rigidity and tremors, and improve daily functioning, sleep quality, and stress hormone levels.

Massage aids and massage therapy for managing Parkinson's Diseases

The 2016 report by Yolanda Casciaro into the effects of massage in relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease found that various massage techniques including traditional therapeutic massage, reflexology, and neuromuscular therapy were all beneficial in helping to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

In terms of how that therapy is delivered, the studies supported the notion that massage therapy and massage aids such as massage chairs and self-massage tools can be used in conjunction to treat the symptoms experienced by patients with Parkinson's Disease. Studies show that massage therapy (however it is delivered) was a beneficial treatment for Parkinson's Disease patients looking to treat symptoms and enjoy a more comfortable quality of life.


The positive effects of massage on the symptoms of Parkinson's Diseases

When it comes to treating the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, it’s important to remember that massage is intended to provide both physical and mental relief. Massage therapy can help those suffering with Parkinson's Disease to feel a sense of relaxation and relief that can promote physical and mental benefits that can last well beyond their treatment or time spent in a massage chair.

Some of the most commonly reported positive effects of massage on treating the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease include:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improved blood flow and circulation
  • Alleviate pain
  • Reduce motor and non-motor symptoms
  • Improve flexibility and mobility
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Help with deep relaxation
  • Powerful coping outlet
  • Help with stress and anxiety

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember that massage therapy and massage aids such as massage chairs are intended to be used as part of a balanced treatment plan for those affected by Parkinson's Disease.

In conjunction with a treatment plan that is recommended by a Parkinson's Disease specialist, massage can help to provide temporary mental and physical relief that make living with Parkinson's Disease that bit more manageable.

When it comes to choosing between in-person massage therapy and massage chairs, there is no right answer to the question. Some prefer the privacy, convenience, and regularity of the in-home treatment option afforded by massage chairs to be the best treatment. While others prefer the personalisation and face-to-face treatment of massage therapy. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to choose one or the other.

The most popular selling Massage Chair for customers who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease is the OHCO M8 NEO Japanese Made massage chair.  The reason for it’s popularity is the pure opulence and the unique side-opening doors which make it much easier to get in & out of; along with the total immersion atmosphere it provides allowing patients to truly disconnect with the included features of aromatherapy, air ionizer, bluetooth music, chromotherapy, dual-zone rollers, wrap around air cells and advanced heat functions -  engaging all your senses at once!

If you would like to try a massage chair, we’d love to welcome you into one of our Showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, or the Gold Coast to see if we can find a chair that helps you to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.
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