Kids & Massage

I saw a great article about the benefits of massage for kids with ADHD.

Helping Children Find Focus article in Massage Therapy.com. I hope you enjoy reading it.

I love massaging kids. In my practice, parents have primarily brought their kids in for the following reasons:

  • sports-related aches & pains or injuries
  • music-related aches & pains or strains (like holding a violin!)
  • growing pains
  • test/school anxiety
  • to share their love of massage

I’ve massaged my son quite a bit over the years and I always love to have him on my table. He is 9 now and massaging him over those 9 years has changed a great deal. I’ve offered to teach parents some simple massage techniques and routines over the years but haven’t had any takers yet. It’s a great gift you can give your baby, child or teen. Maybe you’ll be the first!

Here are a few items to keep in mind when children receive massage.

  • Just like adults, kids have to feel comfortable receiving massage in order for the massage to be beneficial. I always work within the child’s comfort level and go out of my way to develop a basic level of trust in terms of communicating what the child likes and how to tell me if there is something he or she doesn’t like.
  • As the parent or guardian, you can stay with your child in the room or at the shop in the waiting area. Remember that although you may feel comfortable with me, your child might not, at least initially. Be willing to stay during the session, for your child’s benefit.
  • Just like an adult, your child can remain fully clothed during the session. When remaining clothed, wearing loose-fitting clothing is best in order to facilitate stretching and movement. He or she may also disrobe to their level of comfort, knowing he or she will be covered with a sheet and blanket in all appropriate areas.
  • Similar to when I work with an adult who has never received massage, I describe what I propose to work on before the session begins and obtain permission before proceeding. As the session proceeds, I check in to make sure I’m targeting the most important areas the child wants worked on. This is more important in cases of sport-specific or music-specific aches & pains.
  • Children don’t often need an hour session. Many times a 30-minute session is sufficient. There is less surface area and, hopefully, fewer trouble spots than on an adult. Together we figure out a plan of how much time we think we’ll need, but we remain flexible and end the session early if appropriate. The session fee is pro-rated. I can give me son a “full-body” session in about 20 minutes.

Let me know if this article brings up any questions I didn’t address. Again, I’m happy to teach parents and kids a mini-massage routine they can do at home too. Consider giving your child all the great benefits of massage!

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Sneaky little baby!

I had the fun opportunity to babysit a 4-month-old baby over the weekend. He was a cutie, but also a sneaky little baby! Can you believe I strained an arm muscle holding this sneaky little baby?! I couldn’t believe it.

The irony of little babies is that although they are very light, relative to what they’ll weigh later, they don’t carry their own weight at all. They are floppy, floppy. Older babies will kind of wrap themselves around you and hold on (if they want to be held). But not infants.

From working out you know that any time you use a muscle that you haven’t been using much or use a muscle in a new way, you can strain it. It’s nothing serious, but can be annoying. Most over-do-it strains will resolve in about a day or so. You can help a sore muscle by¬†

  • massaging it,
  • stretching it,
  • resting it, and
  • moving it.
  • You can use a little arnica creme if you have it on hand.
  • You can also use a heat pad or ice pack if you want.

New parents are likely to encounter some muscle strains as they carry around their cute, sneaky little babies. For new moms, the physical demands of caring for an infant are significantly different than the physical demands of pregnancy. The carrying and lifting are like a new upper body workout. And all of this happens in the context of weakened abdominals.

So beware those sneaky little babies! Don’t be discouraged about minor strains, but treat yourself well. Ask one of the many people who wants to come and see the baby to

  • carry the baby for you
  • give you a little massage
  • bring you some arnica creme & a hot pack

Go ahead and put them to work. They will be glad to do it!