Children’s Massage Therapy in Guelph
The following post is by Guelph registered massage therapist Terri Rowan.
Nothing makes me happier than when my patients tell me how much their young children love a massage! So many of them share stories about before bed massage routines and kids that pretty much beg to have their backs rubbed. These parents are helping to create happier, healthier more physically and emotionally resilient kids while also getting to spend some quality time with them.
Often these conversations will then move to my patient asking me if I massage children (I do!) and expressing how much their child would enjoy a massage.
If this sounds familiar to you, let’s look at a few things to consider before booking your child in for a massage:
Make sure that they actually want to get a massage.
It is very possible that what they like about the bedtime massage routine is that it is you giving them the massage. While the physical touch is no doubt soothing, some of the appeal could also be spending time with you. So make sure that they understand that someone else will be giving them the massage and that it will take place in a setting other than their home.
Make sure that they understand that it is OK to say no.
They may be worried about hurting your feelings. Make sure they feel empowered to say no to you or to the Massage Therapist.
Make sure they know they can be left alone (or not).
Ontario does not have a minimum age for consent. This means that any person of any age can consent to medical treatment if the provider believes they are capable of giving it. Children therefore are free to come into the Massage Therapy room alone or accompanied by an adult. But they should understand that this is their decision to make.
Children can benefit from massage in the same way that adults do, but there are a few additional benefits that are worth noting:
Massage can help children understand consent
Before treating any patient I will always explain what is going to happen, how it will happen, and why it will happen. The patient is then free to accept all of it, none of it, or some of it. This can be a great opportunity for kids to learn how to speak up for the things they want and don’t want to happen to them. They will also learn that their voice will be heard and respected.
Massage can help children understand ease
Kids might have a hard time expressing what stress or anxiety feels like to them. They may lack the language or they may simply not understand what truly relaxed feels like. Massage may help children identify stress and tension by helping them understand its opposite. Knowing what a body at ease feels like can help them develop strategies to replicate that feeling.
I would be more than happy to talk to you personally about massage for your children. Feel free to contact us by phone or email. If your little one is still very little, I also offer private infant massage instruction as well.