What are the Benefits of Massage for Children?

Massage for children offers a variety of health benefits. Children who receive abundant touch cry less, are happier, more energetic and more alert. It is human nature to touch as a way of showing love and affection. This touch stimulates the body in positive ways to help it grow and develop. Massage is beneficial at any age but because children are still developing it can be especially helpful for them.

  • Increased Bonding- Touch supports trust, emotional security, communication and health. Parent-child massage is a wonderful way to bond with your children while offering them health benefits.
  • Muscle Balance– Massage increases floppy muscle tone and decreases tight motor tone
  • Infant Weight Gain– Gentle touch (eg] body stroking and passive limb movement) can release growth hormones that aid growth and development and speeds up gut mobility making them hungrier.
  • Stress and Anxiety Relief– Massage can decrease the levels of stress hormone and glucose in the body. This may contribute to a healthier immune system and decreased levels of anxiety
  • Stimulates Motor Development– Studies have indicated that massage can ease muscle tension and improve motor function in children with Down Syndrome and HIV.
  • Stimulates Cognitive Development– Massage has been shown to improve alertness, speed and accuracy during math problems. Preschoolers also performed better on IQ tests following a 15 minute massage.
  • Better Recovery- According to “Massage Today” magazine, premature infants who receive massage generally recover faster from health problems.
  • Improved Sleep- Massage can aid in sleep by relaxing the child and reducing physical discomfort
  • Fewer Digestive System Problems- Massage can help with common problems such as gas, constipation and sometimes colic
  • Stronger Immune System- Regular massage can increase blood and lymphatic flow throughout the body, stimulating nervous system function and strengthening the immune system

What to expect:

Before the massage, your massage therapist will conduct a thorough interview to determine the needs of the child and confirm that there are no reasons the child should not be massaged.
Appropriate dress is always discussed and modesty is always respected. Some children prefer to have their clothes on, others prefer just their underwear, while some enjoy being covered with only a sheet.
Parents can remain in the treatment room but should be prepared to sit quietly during the session.
The typical treatment room is softly lit, often with gentle music or environmental sounds being played. The room is warm and comfortable.
Massage/Touch is performed for varying lengths of time: 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the child’s age and condition

Amy Lavigne, Chiropractor
Amy works at our Bowness location