Pediatric massage therapy can help relieve discomfort and stress in children—from infancy to adolescence. The therapy can be used to treat conditions in conjunction with, or as an alternative to other medical treatments. Pediatric massage therapy relieves physical as well as emotional discomfort, promotes relaxation, and reduces muscle tension.
The approach to pediatric massage is different from an adult approach. A child is asked whether or not he or she wants to receive a massage and trust is built with the massage therapist. Pediatric massage therapists will also massage gently and talk in language the child can understand.
Pediatric massage therapy benefits include:
- reduced pain, stress, and anxiety
- increased sense of well-being
- increased emotional bonds and attachments
Conditions like asthma, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), injury, developmental disabilities, chronic ear infections, ADHD, juvenile arthritis and autism can be treated with pediatric massage. It can even have a positive effect on infant sleep cycles and emotional discomfort. In premature babies, massage can help the infant gain weight.
A pediatric massage therapist might include other therapies like craniosacral and myofascial release during the treatment. All methods are non-invasive and use gentle touch to release muscle tension.