If you have kids in your life you are already in tune with how much more magic they bring to your days. Spending time with kids has always been something I love and let me tell y0u, most kids are ecstatic about massage! My niece and nephews are always asking me when it will be a good time for their next massage, it calms them and makes them feel good about their bodies. It gives them quiet time to explore sensations and ask questions about this amazing vehicle each of us are traveling in. Believe it or not kids get tight muscles and pain too and though they aren’t yet locked into unhealthy movement patterns, they are learning certain behaviors that they will carry with them throughout their lives. This is a great reason to begin addressing issues of tension in both mind and body beginning at a very young age.
Recently I have had many clients mention bringing their kids in for a massage and so I thought it would be a good time to share some ways that massage can benefit kids and what types of treatments it is appropriate to book them for.
The Benefits of massage for kids:
*there are so many that it would take forever to cover them here-I encourage you to research the benefits of massage for your child’s specific needs or ask us the next time you visit
“Massage reduces stress hormone levels and blood glucose levels. According to Maria Hernandez-Reif, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute, lower stress hormones not only reduce feelings of anxiety but contribute to a healthier immune system.” –Maggie Lynn, Read more at Livestrong.com Obviously this is a benefit to all people who get massage!
Massage reinforces positive feelings about self-worth and body image in kids (we might say adults as well). Touch is essential to a healthy life and we all thrive when our lives include regular positive touch-especially from those we care about. You might even enjoy giving your child a massage every day before bedtime to help them relax and create a time for positive reinforcement and bonding. Not sure how? You can always book a session and stay to observe, we are happy to give you some tips on the best ways to offer massage to your child.
“Preschoolers have shown better performance on tests of their intellectual and manual skills after a 15-minute massage. They also slept better during naps, were less likely to be overactive and had better behavior ratings. For teens struggling with the growing pains of adolescence, massage helps to balance unstable hormones and can relieve anxiety by producing a state of relaxation. A supportive relationship with a massage therapist who gives them safe, unconditional touch can also increase their feelings of self-acceptance and self-confidence during those trying years.”-Shirley Vanderbilt, Read more at massagetherapy.com
Massage can greatly benefit children with special needs including everything from weight gain for pre-term infants to hyperactivity to various sensory issues. Each of these requires and in depth review but a great place to start is with this article from ABMP titled Children and Massage.
What types and lengths of treatment are right for your child:
Infants-3 years old: We are not currently trained in infant to toddler massage here at Written on the Body but there are many places around Portland that offer infant massage, or classes on how to massage your baby at home: OHSU or Lopez Infant Massage are great examples
4 years old to 12 years old: We recommend starting with a 30 minute Focus! treatment here at Written on the Body and you are welcome to stay for any part or all of the treatments with your kids. You can also book your own treatment at the same time and make it a parent/child date! During this 30 minute focus massage your child could remain clothed and we would employ gentle massage techniques on the table such as rocking, compression and other aspects of Swedish massage. If appropriate we may use warm compresses or essential oils to enhance relaxation and keep your child’s attention. We always leave room for your child’s needs and will allow them to direct the session including the right for either of you to end it at any time.
13-17: At this age many kids are able to handle longer sessions and you might consider gradually increasing the length of their treatments until they are eventually able to handle a full hour. They may also be ready for other types of massage such as hot stone, deep tissue or sports massage and you can discuss these options with our team as you and your child feel it is appropriate.
Thai Massage: Thai massage is clothed and performed on a mat on the floor. During Thai massage your therapist will compress, rock and stretch your body in various ways with the goal of deep relaxation, improving movement patterns and lengthening muscles. Thai massage is an excellent option for ages 4 to adults (and sometimes even younger)! If you are interested in finding out more about booking a Thai massage for you or your child email us at email@example.com and we will happily help you book an appointment.
Whether you decide to start a home massage routine with your child or book an appointment with your favorite therapist we are excited for you to start this journey! Ready to book? Click here to view our schedule online (when booking for your child please make a note for your therapist of your child’s age so that we can be prepared for the visit). Have more questions? Leave them in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!