It’s not uncommon for adults to seek out massage therapy to deal with life’s stresses and bodily aches and pains, but children can also benefit from regular massage therapy visits. Research has shown that pediatric massage can help enhance a child’s physiological, neurological, and psychological development.
Children suffer from a different kind of stress often brought about by illness and massage can reduce stress hormones (isn’t that why most adults seek out massage?) thus helping relieve the symptoms of common childhood health challenges such as asthma, nausea, and headaches. And just like in adults, pediatric massage can help improve immune function, improve sleep and help with anxiety.
But perhaps the best reason to get pediatric massage for your child is that babies and children love gentle and nurturing touch, and unfortunately, not all children get enough of it. Whether you have a young athlete in the making, or a child suffering from anxiety, pediatric massage can provide a safe environment where children can relax and experience the same benefits from healing touch that adults do.
It is important to understand there are a few differences with pediatric massage, the first being the foundation of permission. It is important that the child understand touch therapy and you explain the process. If the child is non-verbal or temporarily unable to communicate (for example, if they are hospitalized), parents can be very helpful in communicating to their child.
The pace and the pressure of the massage is also going to be different for a child as compared to an adult. Pediatric massage is also offered in a variety of settings including hospitals, hospice, outpatient clinics, at home, or in a private clinic. If you benefit from regular massage, perhaps you should consider it for your child as well. Talk to your massage therapist about your pediatric massage options and schedule an appointment today!