***This piece is a guest blog from Studio therapist, Danielle Ford, LMT.***
Most adults don’t think about, or consider, massage therapy for children’s conditions. From personal experience, I am a firm believer of the healing power massage therapy provides to pediatrics. At 1 month old, a baby I knew caught a virus and was admitted into the children’s hospital, later diagnosed with meningitis. For two days his fever would not break even after administering medication, but on the third day the doctors allowed me to hold him when I visited. I performed cranial sacral therapy and stimulated acupressure points on him, and six hours later his fever broke. All tests later came back negative and he was discharged, and recovering at home 12 hours later.
Pediatric cranial sacral therapy is gentle soft tissue work of the head that balances the flow of cerebral spinal fluid, which promotes self-healing and well-being for children and adolescents. Pediatric Therapeutic Massage reduces pain and anxiety in children who have physical or emotional stress on their bodies. It can also relieve loneliness and fear when children are hospitalized or diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition. It can also help relieve the strain and tension that children experience when carrying their backpacks or hunching over desks to study. For children with autism, Pediatric Therapeutic Massage and cranial sacral therapy has been found to reduce their aversion to touch. For children with ADHD, it rebalances their nervous system and helps them to focus with each successive session having cumulative results.
For children 3 months through 7 years we recommend up to 30 minute sessions, for children 8-12 we recommend 30-45 minute sessions. For children 12 and older, we commonly recommend 45 minutes. If working to correct a specific issue, we recommend three initial sessions, once a week or once every other week, until symptoms improve. We always require consent from the parent or guardian to treat a minor, and always ask the parent or guardian to sit in on the first session (or every session if the child is younger than 10) so the child is comfortable on the table, and the parent understands the treatment.
If you’d like to schedule a session for your child with me, my schedule is available at nmtstudio.com.
~Danielle Ford, LMT
Danielle is a licensed massage therapist at The Neuromuscular Studio, and specializes in Therapeutic Massage (adult or pediatric), cranial sacral therapy (adult or pediatric), and cupping. She also has training in treating postpartum conditions through Therapeutic Massage. Danielle is available at our Tempe location Monday through Saturday.