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!