Touch is an integral part of our well-being for people of all ages. We understand how important it is for babies, but we often forget just how vital it is to children and how beneficial it can be for their mental and physical well-being, For most of us, the thought of scheduling a massage for a child seems silly when we can barely get them to sit still for 5 minutes. However, truth be told, this may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Attention deficit disorders are much more common for children than many of us realize. Up to an average to 5-11% of children in the US struggle with this condition and it is a leading cause in behavioral issues in school. Naturally, kids with ADD, ADHD, and other focus problems struggle with academic performance and social skills. Helping them to better maintain focus helps them to be more effective in school and in social settings with peers. The most common treatment method currently in use is prescription medicine. However, there are many natural methods such as essential oils, dietary changes, and body work that can manage attention disorders.
For children (and adults) with attention disorders, short and frequent massages can have a huge impact on their ability to remained focused and calm. Just think about how your brain feels when you receive a massage. When you first get on the table, your body and mind start to relax and even if you chat up a storm for the first few minutes, after a short time your brain activity levels out and you become peaceful and more relaxed. This is a state that people with attention disorder and even anxiety rarely get to experience. This level of rest is imperative for balancing and resetting the brain. It is important for children; however, not to make the sessions too long as they will begin to get fidgety towards the end of a 30-minute session. For this same reason, adults with these struggles may not be able to tolerate a 90-minute session and may benefit from more frequent 60 minute sessions instead.
These massage sessions can be done in a variety of ways. Standard table massage can be used either clothed or not depending on the comfort level of the child and parent. Chair massage in an open setting where the child remains clothed and doesn’t feel as confined to a massage table is another alternative. The main focus is on the touch and the impact that it has on the nervous system allowing the individual to relax and regain the ability to focus.