The benefits of massage therapy extend to people of all ages, especially growing children and developing students. The positive, therapeutic touch of massage stimulates the body and mind in powerful ways which assist in their growth and development.
Children who learn and experience healthy views of touch are also more likely to grow up to become adults with healthy self-esteem and body image, as well develop a sense of appropriate boundaries and long-lasting intimate relationships with others. Massage therapy can also become a habit to help support lifelong heath and wellness
Massage and bodywork also teaches children healthy and effective ways to maintain good health and cope with the stresses of life.
Research has shown that massage therapy:
- Decreases the frequency, intensity, duration of tension headaches, also reducing medication usage.
- Improves sleep in children and adolescents.
- Benefits students with ADHD by improving short-term mood and longer-term classroom behavior.
- Improves the behavior of children with autism.
- Lowers stress-hormones and boosts immune function.
- Improves pulmonary function in children with asthma.
Headaches are very common in children, with 30-50% of children under the age of 18 experiencing recurrent headaches. An estimated 6% of children experience daily headaches. These headaches often cause children to miss out on school and extracurricular activities, and can also cause parents to miss work. Massage therapy has been shown to ease these symptoms, and reduce the muscle tension that often triggers these headaches.
The stress that plagues children early on can lead to life-long health concerns. According to researchers at Penn State and Johns Hopkins University, research is showing that children who overreact to stressors may be at risk of becoming overweight or obese. This puts kids at even greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and cardiovascular concerns.
Massage therapy is a safe, effective means of reducing stress and supporting overall health. Establishing healthy strategies for coping with stress in childhood can lead to greater health and well-being into adulthood. Help your child safely manage her stress and develop a greater body-mind awareness now by incorporating massage therapy into her back to school routine, and you will help her establish healthy habits for life.
Poor Stress Responses May Lead to Obesity in Children: Can Massage Therapy Help?
BY MASSAGE MAGAZINE MARCH 19, 2013
National Headache Foundation: Headache in Children
Touch Research Institute
AMTA Relieve Stress
AMTA Massage Therapy Can Help