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> Home > Articles by Tina Allen > Touch Therapy for Kids

Touch Therapy for Kids  |  Touch Therapy for Children

by Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Updated April 2016

Children require Healthy Touch

Children require tactile stimulation through a variety of sources in order to fully develop their body, mind and spirit.  Those children who receive massage therapy may experience many benefits including decreased anxiety, improved muscle tone, enhanced pulmonary and immune function, enhanced body image, increased bonding and attachment, healthy sense of boundaries, stress reduction and an overall sense of well being.

 



 

Specialized Massage Training is Required to work with Child Clients

For massage therapists and bodywork practitioners wishing to incorporate touch therapy within their practice with child clients, specialized training is required to achieve full benefit.  Yes, you receive appropriate massage education during your time in school, however, is there ever a focus on appropriate massage therapy for pediatric clients? Whether healthy and well, or otherwise, it is imperative that you take the time to fine tune and develop child friendly skills as a professional bodyworker.

 

Kids are Different than Adults

Children have different physical, emotional and developmental needs than adults, and so they should be approached with early childhood development considerations in mind.

It is important to use massage and touch therapy along with methods of Interacting with children using age appropriate activities that stimulate a child’s development.   With young children’s language level in mind, storytelling and songs should be used to connect with and engage children.

 

Learn to ask permission

Using skills and education it is helpful to find ways of increasing tactile stimulation and exploration experiences for children. In addition to physical experiential activities, calming and relaxing touch should be introduced through hands on massage therapy and massage stories.

Prior to the age of twelve, children learn about their world kinesthetically – meaning they learn through touching, feeling and experiencing the material at hand.

Touch therapy for children uses adaptations of massage therapy as appropriate for children.  Massage is adapted for each individual child client on a specific case by case basis. With each child, it is important to build a rapport and trust in your professional relationship. Learn to ask permission effectively and understand both verbal and non verbal cues

Each child needs to know they can trust you, and that you will listen to their requests.  Learn how to explain massage to children in age appropriate language. By learning to appropriately ask permission prior to massage, you’ll encourage children to develop healthy boundaries and become more secure as they grow older.  It is very empowering for a child to have the ability to direct their therapeutic session, and at times even refuse it.  Once they trust you, they can relax and just feel the many benefits of the massage.
 

Specially trained Certified Pediatric Massage Therapists

Massage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist.   Pediatric massage and nurturing touch are the most appropriate massage techniques to use in this population. When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential.
 

 

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Specially trained Certified Pediatric Massage Therapists

lkf-cpmt-logo-144pxMassage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist.   Pediatric massage and nurturing touch are the most appropriate massage techniques to use in this population. When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential.

For more information visit Comprehensive Pediatric Massage Training Course (CPMT)

 

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For more information visit: Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz™

 



 

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