Should I massage my child?Massage has been used for centuries as a touch therapy to help alleviate aches and pains. But for children, the benefits extend far beyond physical relief. Touch – and massage – can be a wonderful way to bond with your little one and develop trust and understanding.
In fact, some studies have shown that children who receive more healthy physical contact grow up as confident adults capable of developing long-lasting relationships.
When massaging a baby, use light strokes with natural or baby oil. Older children can be massaged on the hands and feet, but you’ll probably find 15 minutes is the most they can stand!
Why should I massage my child?As well as bonding, massage therapy has been shown to provide the following benefits for kids:
- Reduces stress and anxiety, by reducing stress hormones and blood glucose
- Calms hyperactivity
- Enhances motor and cognitive development, which is why it’s especially recommended for children with Down’s syndrome or autism.
- Improves sleep quality
- May help in managing asthma or diabetes
- Stimulates blood flow and improves skin conditions
How to find a qualified massage therapist
While you can massage your child yourself, you may prefer to have a professional provide treatment. If that’s the case, be sure to choose a massage therapist who is experienced in treating babies or children.