5 alternative ways to boost health in seniors

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Posted on: 01 May 2016 by Goky Brkic

Alternative medicine treatments can do a lot to help the elderly cope with their illnesses and conditions. Although they cannot substitute medicine treatments, they can enhance their effects and thus have important benefits in the treatment of many diseases.

Yoga

Physical activity is good even in old age. Of course, certain limitations and conditions often prevent seniors from enjoying common forms of exercise such as walking or cycling. Yoga has the potential to fulfill all the key components of a good senior workout: resistance training, stretching, and low impact cardio. Of course, seniors should only practice that forms of yoga which they feel comfortable doing, straying from anything that could be potentially harmful. It improves sleep quality, reduces stress, chronic pains, and increases bone density.

Aromatherapy

One of the most popular alternative medicine treatments, aromatherapy, involves using essential oils and other aromatic plants in helping alleviate symptoms of many illnesses and discomforts. The oils can be used in different ways, but inhalation is the most frequent way; there are different diffusers dispersing the oil into the air, but sometimes the effects are fuller when the oil is absorbed through the skin by massage. In elderly patients it helps skin regeneration, alleviates symptoms of dementia, respiratory infections and arthritis. It is also frequently used for mood enhancement for those who are under stress or suffer from anxiety or depression.

Acupuncture

This ancient Chinese treatment gained popularity in the West after a myriad of scientific researches proved its benefits. Treating various conditions, from everyday headaches to obesity, it is especially helpful for seniors. Studies have shown it relieves chronic back pain; applying pressure to certain points in the body resulted with greater improvement in symptoms who went to chiropractors. It can also be used to treat indigestion, a common problem in elderly patients, thus avoiding the need for expensive and even harmful pills. Inserting sterile needles into specific acupuncture points (the procedure is painless) actually helps trigger the body’s natural responses, and the experience is generally described as energizing and relaxing.

Massage

The art of massages incorporates many different techniques for various conditions with different results and benefits; the techniques for the elderly may vary greatly from those used with younger patients. For senior citizens, massage is aimed at the prevention of age-related diseases and it is a good alternative to some of the less natural pharmaceutical treatments and procedures. It mostly involves gentle strokes, kneads, and applying light pressure on specific points on the body. It is also helpful for Alzheimer’s patients, as it helps relaxation and facilitates communication. Finally, manipulating certain points of the body promotes the natural lubrication of joints, relieving pain of patients suffering from arthritis.

Reflexology

Reflexology is defined as the manipulation of certain pressure points on feet, hands, lower parts of the legs and face. Although it cannot be used as a treatment which would cure a disease or a condition, it does help alleviate symptoms of many health problems. It’s a gentle, non-invasive treatment which can complement regular, mainstream medicine. In elderly patients it induces a state of relaxation, improves lymphatic and blood circulation, and stimulates the healing processes of the body. It also helps alleviate symptoms of many problems common for the seniors, such as high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, various respiratory conditions, and migraine and headaches.

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