Massage isn’t just for adults, it’s for kids too! Pediatric massage therapy is a wonderful tool for families to use and learn to help improve the health and wellness of their children. Pediatric massage therapy uses hands on touch, therapeutic exercises and sensory play to help children calm, adapt and self-regulate, along with improving muscle function.
My Little Sunshine Wellness is a mobile pediatric and family massage therapy company that provides registered massage therapy and touch education to children and families. It’s goal is to help families with the health and wellness of their children through positive touch and rich sensory experiences. There are many individuals who can benefit from pediatric massage. Some include;
Have Autism, ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorders
Massage therapy and touch have been able to help children with autism perform more on-task and social relatedness behaviours, as well as have fewer sleep disturbances. It has shown to improve on-task behaviours with children with ADHD, and helps them with self-regulation.
Have Muscle Pain or Neuromuscular Differences
Massage can be used with children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other muscle related disorders. It helps to relieve muscle tension, improve muscle recruitment and aide with range of motion.
Are experiencing Anxiety
Anxiety in children is becoming more apparent. Children can experience anxiety due to high demands from parents or teachers, because of illness or complex medical conditions, or because of sensory processing disorders. Massage therapy can be an effective tool to help calm children and decrease their anxiety.
Spent time in the NICU
For a preterm infant, their first days, weeks or months of their life are difficult. The sensory input of a NICU can be overwhelming to a preterm infant, and the medical devices and procedures can be painful and can introduce negative touch. Massage can help parents reintroduce positive touch to their newborns, helping them thrive. Studies show that massage can help with weight gain, reduce stress hormones, and improved brain and neural development.
Parents who ……
Have a newborn
Learning infant massage is a great way to bond with your new baby and help with their development. It can also relieve common infant discomforts, such as constipation, congestion and teething. It’s a simple tool to learn and can last a lifetime.
Are having trouble bonding
Touch and gentle massage has been shown to improve bonding. This can be useful to learn for parents who are not the birth parents, who may have been absent during the early months of a child’s life, or who are having difficulties creating the bond.
Are having Difficulties managing challenging behaviours
Poor behaviour can be difficult to manage. There are many strategies available, and massage is one. The deep pressure provided through massage can help with regulation and calming. It can also help decrease aggression and improve self-regulation for children.
Want to bring wellness into their child’s life
To help children begin a life of body awareness, body respect and good health, massage therapy can be a great introduction into their lives. Positive touch helps children feel good in their own skin, begin to understand their bodies, and learn how to self-regulate and address bodily concerns.
Escalona, A., Field, T., Singer-Strunck, R. et al. Brief Report: improvements in the behavior of children with autism following massage therapy. J Autism Dev Disord (2001) 31: 513.
Khilnani, S, et al. “Massage Therapy Improves Mood and Behavior of Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.”Adolescence, vol. 38, no. 152, Winter2003, pp. 623-638. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=106664827&site=ehost-live.
J. D. Crane, D. I. Ogborn, C. Cupido, S. Melov, A. Hubbard, J. M. Bourgeois, M. A. Tarnopolsky. Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage. Science Translational Medicine, 2012; 4 (119): 119ra13 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002882
Rasool F1, Memon AR2, Kiyani MM3, Sajjad AG3. The effect of deep cross friction massage on spasticity of children with cerebral palsy: A double-blind randomised controlled trial.J Pak Med Assoc. 2017 Jan;67(1):87-91.
Field, T, et al. “Massage Reduces Anxiety in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Patients.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 31, no. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 125-131. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=1537763&site=ehost-live.