Thank you for your interest in pediatric massage!
The benefits of massage for children are numerous, and new research is adding to these benefits all the time. Current research shows that massage for infants and children may encourage bonding, relaxation, improved sleep patterns and digestion, fine and gross motor development, healthy weight gain, self-awareness, improved communication and neurological development, and the list goes on!*
Pediatric massage does not look like a massage that you or I might have at a spa.
I do not bring a massage table or candles, and your child will not be asked to lie down or be still. Children are never fully unclothed during a session, and your child is always at choice about whether or not to receive the massage. Also unlike adult massage, our goal is to stimulate all seven senses during our session, including the five commonly known ones as well as their proprioceptive (a child’s body in spatial relation to their environment) and vestibular (balance) systems.
In addition to hands-on massage strokes, your child’s interactive massage session may include:
· Sitting, standing, lying down
· Jumping up and down
· Activities and games with sensory toys
· Massage stories
· Singing and dancing
· Breaks for processing or recharging
· Some time for parental education, so you may continue the work in between our sessions
Some things you and your child can do to be ready for our session:
· Provide a clean, safe space on a blanket on the floor, or whatever safe space your child prefers.
· Tell your child what time I will be coming over. Transitions can be difficult for some kids, and if she is prepared for my arrival, we can get right to work (play)!
· Encourage your child to put on some comfy clothes, change a diaper or use the restroom, and have a snack (if appropriate) before I arrive.
· If you think your child might like lotion or oil, have his favorite one ready and in the session area.
· Ask your child if she has some favorite music she would like to listen to during our session, and have it cued up. (It can be ANY type of music – or none at all!)
· Have your intake form filled out and ready to discuss, if it is our first session.
· Please be prepared to be within sight and sound range of our session at all times. Because your child is a minor, supervision is required. Also, I may need help deciphering your child’s subtle cues or verbalizations.
Your child is always at choice during the massage session.
Children -- and especially children with special health care needs -- are often not at choice about when and how to be touched. Our sessions are not only meant to be developmentally beneficial and fun, but also they are an opportunity to empower your child to make choices and be able to say “no” to touch, if that is how he or she is feeling in the moment. Sometimes the power to choose is just as important as any hands-on work we can do. That said, massage usually feels pretty good, and the more we get to know each other and build trust, the more I find children say “yes” to massage!
If you ever have any questions about what we are doing or why, please ask!
I love parental involvement. You are never interrupting, and I am always happy to explain or to show you some strokes to use. Your interest ensures that the massage will continue between our sessions, and you know I love that!
*Some information provided has been adapted from the Liddle Kidz Foundation with permission. The information provided herein does not replace medical advice.