One of the most fascinating things about massages is that it is not restricted to people of a certain age. Anyone regardless of age and sex can reap the benefits of massage therapy. Even though this practice is generally utilized by adults, parents of new born babies and little children are also joining the ranks. These parents actively seek this form of alternative therapy in order to ensure proper upbringing of their loved ones.
The techniques for alternative massage therapy are generally the same for babies and children alike. However, the difference lies in the proper handling and also in the magnitude of benefits they provide for children of different ages.
Alternative Massage Therapy for Babies
Infant massages demand extreme care and attention as they have a direct impact on the human brain. There are a plethora of benefits of this specialized form of touch. Infant massages are helpful in enhancing a baby’s physical, emotional, mental and social development. They create a strong bond between parent and child as the baby gets exposed to the sense of gentle touch. Moreover, it is very effective in helping premature babies gain weight. It improves motor development in cocaine-exposed infants and facilitates the breathing function of babies experiencing asthma. Such babies show positive gains in behavior and a decline in anxiety and stress hormone, Cortisol after massage treatment.
Babies tend to cry a lot as it is their only means of expressing themselves during the early stages of infancy. A gentle massage can soothe a crying baby and also relieve any colic, circulatory and digestive ailments. Furthermore, it helps new parents become comfortable with their child so it is a win-win situation for everyone. A thirty minute massage session for the baby should be a part of every parent’s daily routine.
Alternative Massage Therapy for Children
Pediatric massage differs from infants in many ways and offers numerous benefits. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder also known as ADHD, is a rapidly rising psychiatric disorder among children. A general estimate puts 3-7% of all school-age children and adolescents as sufferers of ADHD. Studies have proven massage therapy as an effective tool to counter this disorder. A recent study revealed that adolescent boys who received 10-15 minutes of daily massage alternative therapy showed improved focus and less fatigue. They also rated themselves happier and showed remarkable signs of positive mood.
Long Term Benefits of Alternative Therapy
Another long term benefit of pediatric massage therapy is that it thwarts any potential problems that the child may encounter during his adult life. Marybetts Sinclair, one of the pioneers in pediatric massages is a massage therapist and writes about her own experiences on working with adults. She noted that many problem experiencing adults could have been effectively dealt with massage therapy during their childhood.
Trigger points from childhood injuries can cause pain and muscle stiffness in adult life. A birth injury that never healed could in turn cause structural problems. Some kids go through emotional trauma which if left untreated follows them in their adult life. All of this, according to Sinclair, can be prevented through alternative massage therapy.
The best part about alternative massage therapy is that it is a completely natural solution to numerous problems and does not require the use of any prescription drugs or medication. It is 100% safe and has no adverse side effects whatsoever making it ideal for children of all ages.