The Five Love Languages a book written in 1995 by Gary Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love that he calls “love languages.”  The five include:  words of affirmation, quality time, gift-giving, acts of service, and physical touch.  According to Chapman’s theory, each of us has one primary and one secondary love language.


When we contemplate relating the field of Massage Therapy to the Love Languages, we naturally first think of “touch” as the common language we utilize to deliver a massage treatment of therapy.  But may I suggest that, when the massage therapist is interacting with the more senior client, or perhaps even with those who are infirmed or immobile, we are speaking at a much higher language level than that of mere “touch.”


As we age, our body systems begin to break down and often can lead to degenerative diseases, neurological disorders, and immobilizing illnesses.  All of these tend to isolate the aging person and slowly begin to drain their resources of simply feeling loved, that they make a difference, or that they matter at all.  And as our declining seniors are eventually institutionalized, more and more of them become touch-deprived and, as a result, their spirit withdraws and they become less of an interactive part of their surroundings altogether.


Restoring touch through compassionate massage sequences delivers many more languages of love than simple “touch” to the recipient.  In fact, it restores and/or enhances all five!

A mere half hour spent delivering skilled touch to the declining client can restore their feeling of self-worth, their reserves of happiness, and their very will to become once again involved with the world around them.


And, since Gary Chapman’s theory states that each of us has at least one love language, and usually two (a primary and a secondary), if massage can speak to all FIVE, then there is a 100% chance we can affect our client in a positive way and “speak their language of love” through the gift of massage.


The Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seniors through massage for decades.  Dietrich Miesler’s initial concept began brewing at least 40 years ago.  Since then, Daybreak has become the leader in enhancing the lives of seniors through massage, is a Certified Provider of Continuing Education through the NCBTMB, and is the most trusted educator in the field.


Let’s identify the core elements built right into the Daybreak modality of Geriatric Massage that exist in Chapman’s five love languages:


Words of Affirmation

Active listening, giving feedback with gentle voice tones, and showing respect and understanding through the use of affirming words of compassion.


Quality Time

Working to help seniors through healing massage therapy sessions? Always leave time to chat with them for a spell. You may be their only visitor that day!



Massage therapists in the field of the Geriatric Modality can often be heard explaining that their profession is more of a “calling” or a “ministry.”  If compassionate touch is a gift they feel they have, then the field of geriatric massage is the perfect place to channel that gift to others.  And it is those same massage therapists who also insist that the blessings they receive from being in this profession far outweigh any of their attempts to bless others.


Acts of Service

As you establish a relationship with seniors through massage therapy, understand that some additional efforts may need to be made with regard to their level of comfort on the massage table, their level of trust with you as their therapist, and an occasional need to assist them perhaps with their clothing before and after their session.


Physical Touch

“In every branch of the practice of medicine, touching should be considered an indispensable part of the doctor’s art.  The doctor should know what the human touch is capable of achieving in soothing ruffled feelings, in assuaging pain, in relieving distress, in giving reassurance, in making—in short—all the difference in the world.”

(Dr. Ashley Montagu, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin)


In summary, how truly wonderful it is that we can convey love and comfort to others, knowing undeniably that—no matter which love language they possess—we are speaking their language by interacting with them through the loving modality of Geriatric Massage.