In a review article published in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, researchers examined the role of massage therapy in attenuating aggression and related behavioral disorders in patients with dementia.
The review authors state an “essential feature of dementia is a significant decline in a patient’s cognitive ability, and communicating among patients through language becomes virtually ineffective. Scientists have examined techniques to maintain communication with patients with dementia at a basic level, such as through gentle touch in the form of massage.”
The review examined studies that implemented massage therapy, either alone or in conjunction with other nonpharmacological interventions such as aromatherapy or calming music, as a treatment for dementia-related behavioral disorders.
The authors conclude: “The employment of massage therapy, either alone or in combination with aromatherapy or calming music, can significantly decrease agitation, aggression, stress, and anxiety in patients with dementia. Moreover, massage therapy can also be beneficial for nursing personnel involved in taking care of patients with dementia. The combination of massage with aromatherapy seems to impart the most significant results in patients with dementia.”
Read the full study online at www.alternative-therapies.com/abstracts/9913.html.