Pediatric Massage

I’m naturally drawn to kids, although I can’t completely explain why. I just like them a lot. If I meet a mother and child, I’ll usually spend most of the interaction earning the kid’s trust.

Up until mid-way through college, working with kids was the only way I earned money. Babysitter, figure skating instructor, camp counselor, tutor, friend and human jungle gym. Ok, not all of these positions were things to put on a resume, but I wouldn’t have traded them for anything. And now that I’m a massage professional, I have even more to offer kids than being a board game partner or swing pusher.

Something I was taught awhile back: You can never compliment a child too much. There’s no such thing as unnecessary flattery, telling a child too often that he or she is beautiful or smart or a rockstar. Likewise, what I’ve learned for myself is that you can’t give a child too much caring, physical contact. The more times you hug a kid or hold her hand or pick him up and spin him around, the better.

(And bear with me for a second – I’m going to completely disregard the obvious issue of good touch and bad touch. Assume for the sake of this entry that everything I say refers to welcomed, non-sexual touch.)

The benefits of touch are true for adults, but they’re true tenfold for kids. Relaxation, internal balance, and a positive self-image, not to mention the warm and fuzzy feeling that someone cares about you. Kids grow and mature at an insanely fast rate, so supportive care is essential to a good outcome.

Since frequent, caring, touch and massage are important for kids on a general scale, it’s easy to imagine the benefits derived from massage for children who do need extra care. This need can come in all sorts of packages: young athletes who need to keep their muscles strong and healthy so that there aren’t problems later on. A child who reacts to a stressful environment (at school, at home) with physical tension, resulting in headaches and stomachaches. An active kid who needs to reduce scar tissue after a broken leg or regain range of motion in a sprained ankle. Children who need help managing a lifelong illness or condition such as autism, ADHD, or cancer. The benefits of massage in any of these cases are too great to be overlooked.

When I tell people that I specialize in pediatric massage, it always takes them a moment to understand. I don’t think that anyone would ever disagree that massage could be beneficial for children, but it just isn’t something they had ever considered. My goal is to change that. I want massages to be a part of every child’s (probably very, very busy) schedule, as regular as a haircut and as important as a check-up.

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