Massage isn’t just for adults. Children’s massage has been used in traditional Eastern culture for hundreds of years and now the western world is beginning to embrace its benefits. If stressed toddler tantrums are becoming all too frequent or your early-arriving infant could do with a boost, it might be worth looking into this treatment.
No, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. While it’s unlikely that your child will feel the need to unwind after a rough few weeks at work, there is no age restriction on the positive effects of massage therapy. Touch is the first sense to develop in humans, so it seems natural that it should be nurtured and supported in the early stages of a child’s life, just as we encourage our children to pick up language.
If you are the parent of a newborn baby, massage forms a great way of bonding with your little one and it’s been proven to have a positive effect on infant digestion, respiration, circulation. For premature or disabled babies, you may see an improvement in growth and muscle tone. It can also help if you’re suffering from post-natal depression, as it has been shown to significantly improve the relationship between mother and child. Ideally, baby massage should be used every day, at a routine time that suits you and your family. You can enrol on a course to learn how to carry out the massages at home, or attend a class with other mums.
Children’s massage is slightly different from infant massage as, rather than focusing on optimising growth, it tends to work on improving the emotional welfare of the child. Stress is something that we associate with adult life – how many times have you wished to be back at school, where life was so free and easy? But unfortunately stress is all relative, and the emotional traumas children pick up early in life can stick with them through to adulthood. Therapists claim that massage can be healing for children and the positive influence of touch can promote a much more peaceful and communicative temperament. It’s also a fantastic and natural way of enhancing close bonds in the family and teaching your child about respectful relationships. Again, you can learn how to give the massages to your own child, or enlist the help of a qualified therapist if you’re lacking faith in your own flexible fingers.
Massage is also being used to help children with serious or terminal diseases, as it has been found to aid relaxation and sleep, and may even support pain relief treatment.
Well no, technically – unless of course you’re a child searching Wahanda for some amazing beauty advice (which would be fine!) – but any child may benefit from massage therapy. As a parent, you’ll probably feel the positive affects from the treatment yourself – who doesn’t want an angelically behaved child?! It’s perfect for inspiring close bonds, improves emotional wellbeing and promotes general good health, all of which can only be good.
Fancy yourself as a bit of an artist? Children’s massage can also take the form of storytelling through drawing pictures on the child’s skin.