Massage for Children and it’s Benefits
Having practiced various types of massage for 20 years now, I have had many of my client’s children experience the benefits of my massage table. The youngest child I’ve massaged was 5 years old and the eldest, well … they kept coming as they grew into teenagers, then young adults and took on the stresses of university and adapting into adulthood. Small children and teenagers alike absolutely love massage. Immediately they lie quietly and relax. It feels like the body sighing in relief, as they can let go and just be present in a safe space.
It is worrying that there are so many children out there suffering from stress, when there can be something as simple as massage which will benefit them immensely. I’m not saying it’s a cure but as adults we know the benefits. So why not extend those benefits to your children?
A survey, conducted in 2015 by ABC’s Behind the News asked children questions about their worries, fears and emotions. 20,000 Australian children participated in the survey, which exposed high levels of stress in children aged between six and 16. The issues which worry kids the most are the future (43%), family (39%), health (37%) and friends (34%), followed by body image (31%), bullying (30%), world problems (28%), school (27%) and being different (24%)
Benefits of Massage
Here are some examples of the many benefits of massage for children:
- Reduces a child’s feelings of anxiety, by boosting levels of serotonin. It also lowers the stress hormone levels in their bodies, such as cortisol, which in turn enhances their immune system.
- Caring touch stimulates the body in positive ways to help grow and develop
- Stimulates cognitive development, increases alertness as well as speed and accuracy
- Stimulates motor development, eases tension and pain in muscle development and is recommended for children with Down syndrome or Autism
- Aids the bodies defense system infighting toxins, parasites, bacteria, microbes, pathogens and viruses
- Helps children sleep better by balancing their sleep hormones
- Effective for children suffering from diabetes or asthma. Stimulation of the Vagal nerve aids in pulmonary (lung) function and increases blood and lymph circulation.
- Massage can lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain thus can be beneficial for any arthritic conditions.
- Great for premature babies and weight gain, cuddling and massage releases the growth hormone in a premature infant that helps gain weight and aids development of vital organs and the brain
- Helpful for toning muscles in children
- Children prone to bulimia find their depression and anxiety decreases and contributes to counteracting the disease
- Helps parents connect better with their children and builds trust
- Creates connection to the body and awareness of it
- Helps a child learn to be more present in the moment.
With massage therapy so readily available in Australia it seems to me that so many of these children’s lives could be changed for the better. Let’s make a change and give your children the gift of massage.