Seniors are at a point in their life where they have a medicine cabinet full of pills to help manage the everyday problems that they face. But medicine alone isn’t the only answer, which is why many of the elderly utilize physical therapy and mental health counseling.
While these conventional therapies are very effective, some people may find that unique therapies work better instead of or in tandem with the original forms of therapy. One thing that’s so great about unique therapies is that some of them can be a lot of fun!
Art therapy is one of the fun therapies. If therapy isn’t appealing enough, art therapy might be. While not everyone enjoys creating, many people can benefit from what art therapy has to offer.
Studies have shown that people who are encouraged to participate in art therapy and have dementia show an increase in enjoyment which transfers over to other aspects of their life. Ar therapy has shown that it can help reduce stress and also help with psychological resilience, improving our senior's ability to handle the troubles that come with everyday life.
Art therapy has also shown to help raise self-esteem in elderly patients. Not everyone knows how talented they are. Some seniors have gone to an art therapy session and come out realizing that they have a new favorite hobby and they are actually good at it. This type of therapy also leaves the person with a sense of accomplishment, which can help people who are suffering from mental health issues like depression.
Music therapy can consist of making music or listening to it. Making music can help with cognitive performance, helping seniors strengthen their minds. Learning music can help with motor function and physical awareness as well. But being a part of the music is just half of it, you can also have a lot of benefit from listening as well.
It's not just being a part of the music, just listening to the music has shown to help people who have serious illnesses. Patients with Parkinson’s found that music therapy helped with sensory loss, depression, and motor scores. It even showed to help with gait and freezing associated with Parkinson’s.
Patients with anxiety and pain also found a reduction in their symptoms while listening to music. But not just any music! Music therapy requires a professional who studies music theory as well as psychology and how the two can work together. If you want to try out music therapy, find a specialist who can help find the right type of therapy that focuses on certain symptoms.
Light therapy sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but we also may have never expected to get air touch technology. Light therapy is when they use ultraviolet lights to interact with the body and has shown to help with mental health.
While the majority of studies with light therapy have been geared to seasonal depression, scientists believe that this form of therapy may be beneficial in two other ways. Studies have shown that this form of therapy may also be able to help with general depression as well as help people with sleep disorders.
Researchers believe that light therapy can help by changing the melatonin release in the body. But it is important that you don’t just set up UV rays at home and have a licensed professional help you. If you do these types of therapies at night, it can cause insomnia or hyperactivity. Without the help of a professional, you also run the risk of injuring eyes or other consequences to UV exposure.
If you or your elderly loved one have pet allergies, this type of therapy might be a bit tricky. Though there are breeds of certain animals that are less likely to flare up allergies, this may not be the therapy for everyone.
Pet therapy is a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. Seniors can greatly benefit from animals, and having a guided therapy session with them has a long list of benefits. Just being around an animal can make people feel better, helping with depression and anxiety. Learning how to interact with the animal can help with social skills and interacting with them physically can help with physical health. Having these pets around is also great for lonely seniors, helping them find companionship with a being that is only able to give out unconditional love.
Stress doesn’t care how old you are, it still likes to creep in and mess your life up. With seniors, having anxiety issues can cause a myriad of health issues. Many illnesses that seniors have to deal with can exacerbate stressful events which can turn into developed anxiety disorders. If stress is the name of the game, aromatherapy may be a part of the solution.
Aromatherapy is when you use oils for medicinal benefit. This can include getting a massage with the oils or just breathing in the aromas. When using them in a massage, there are antioxidant, antimicrobial, and pharmacologic effects on various tissues. When using them in a bath, diffuser, or another way to inhale the aroma, it may be able to help with pain, sleep, stress, anxiety, and sleep issues.
Dance Or Movement Therapy
Dance or movement therapy is a great physical therapy for seniors, focusing on how to help them with their individual issues more so than how to dance. This helps with strength building and communication skills considering that body language is such a powerful communication tool.
Dance or movement therapy in group settings is great for seniors who feel that they don’t get enough socialization in their day to day life. And when they complete these exercises, it gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Not everyone in their later years has a body that allows for a lot of movement. Exercising gets harder as the arthritis kicks in, bones become more brittle, and chronic pain becomes a regular nuisance. If this sounds familiar, aquatic therapy might be the right solution to getting you or your elderly loved one’s blood pumping.
Aquatic therapy is when you do physical exercise in water. It helps to ease the pressure on joints and allows for people who normally have problems with movement participate in physical activity. Aquatic therapy improves strength from water resistance, eases muscle pain, has no risk of harmful falls, and has a decrease in pain sensitivity when the water is warm and buoyant.
Integrating CBD Into Unique Therapies
While these therapies have shown to benefit, they can still be difficult to participate in when people are struggling with mental and physical health. This is why it is almost always advised to utilize medications alongside going to therapy.
Many seniors have a medicine cabinet full of pills that they are instructed to take, all coming with their own unique side-effects. Because CBD has shown that it has the ability to help with a broad range of symptoms and has a more attractive side-effect profile, many elderly patients are turning to CBD instead.
CBD And Pain
People can have the desire to go out and do therapies that involve physical activity, but the pain might be too much to bear. When you have arthritis, painting or sculpting becomes very challenging and painful making the art therapy less effective. Good news is that CBD oil has shown in studies that it may be able to help.
Whether it is using topicals directly on the hurting area or taking CBD in a pill, CBD elevates an endocannabinoid called anandamide which has shown to be beneficial in people who experience chronic pain. Anandamide binds to the CB1 receptor, which is in control of the neurological functions which includes your sensitivity to pain.
CBD also elevates the endocannabinoid 2-AG which binds to the CB2 receptor. This interaction helps mediate your immune functions. For people who are experiencing pain because of inflammation, CBD oil may be able to help reduce the inflammation effectively reducing the pain as well.
CBD And Depression
When you are depressed, you don’t care about making yourself feel better. Instead, you can find yourself wallowing in your own self-pity hating the world. You can get in this cycle of I feel miserable, I should do something about it, but I feel too miserable. Studies show CBD may be able to help with depression and do so quickly.
Studies show that when rodent models were given CBD, in just thirty minutes they began to experience a chemical change. Chemicals that are normally lower in depressed brains began to rise. The endocannabinoid anandamide also gives you a feeling of being uplifted, like a runner’s high, which can help get the ball rolling on self-care.
CBD With Essential Oils
If you want to try aromatherapy mixed with CBD, we carry CBD bath salts that have essential oils that can help you relax in the tub. Our topicals also contain essential oils, helping to further the pain relief that is associated with CBD hemp oil.
Have you participated in any unique therapies and they worked for you? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below!