Massage for Children
Many people ask us about massaging children and whether there are special techniques etc to be used for them. I have massaged my sons since the day they were born. The only differences are with babies is that we don’t massage the fontanel of the skull. This is where the 3 bones of the skull join. By about 18 months old this is fused together and it is safe to massage this area.
Other than that the main consideration is that babies and children have a hard time sitting still. When it’s your own children you may consider massaging them while hugging them close to you. Many children can actually handle more strong pressure than adults so just get a proper feel for the right pressure to use. As with adults, pressure levels vary according to the individual.
Regular massage in children is very good and it can help to prevent Attention Deficit Disorder and other related problems as well as a whole host of other mental, physical and emotional problems. It also increases the bond between parents and their children.
Children can experience a lot of stress, especially when their parents or the general household that they live in has a lot of stress happening in it. I have treated many adults who have asthma that developed it when their parents were going through a divorce. The stress that they were going through as children made their breathing muscles tighten and the asthma developed as a result of this. So prevention goes a long way in treating children. If you massage children from when they are young they will develop this habit of getting a massage for life in most cases. When treating children in a professional situation it is best if their parents stay in the room while the child is being massaged. This helps to prevent any accusations of impropriety. In some cases however the presence of the parent may not allow the child to relax properly so it may be advisable to ask them to wait outside.
Some children tend to squirm more than adults. This can be minimized by massaging their head first and relaxing them, then massaging their feet before going into more ticklish areas where tension may be present. This works well for adults too.