Balance Blog

Apr 17th

Massage and Childhood Stress

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People of all ages are affected by stress.  Unlike adults, young children may not have developed coping skills to deal with their anxiety, and grownups can step in and help out.  Bringing your child to a massage therapist may not solve the stressful situation, but the soothing touch of massage can help even the youngest children to cope better with their feelings.

Children can be very sensitive to their surroundings, leading to anxiety when those surroundings change. Childhood stress can result from starting school, transferring to a new school, the death of pets and other loved ones.  Children are also very sensitive to tension in the home, despite parents’ best efforts to shield them.  Like adults, children can also be sensitive to pressure – from their parents, teachers, peers or society.  Usually these messages are subtle, and often inadvertent, such as pressure to perform better in school and sports, to fit in, to have a certain body image and appearance.  These subtle messages can weigh down young spirits and create anxiety.

The caring touch of childhood massage can help counteract these messages by allowing the child to become physically grounded in a positive message: I’m ok, just the way I am.  By providing a sense of calm and well-being to the child, anxiety can be lessened.

In some instances, such as when a child is not as comfortable with strangers as with family, caregivers may choose to learn childhood massage techniques and provide the massage themselves.  Louisville has massage practitioners who are able to provide that training.  Look for someone who has experience both providing hands-on pediatric massage, and training others in massage techniques.

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