What is Pediatric Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is adapted to the needs of each individual. A session for a 2 year old will be much different than a session for an 18 year old. Massage therapy can provide nurturing touch that helps children develop into well-adjusted adults. Pediatric massage can also provide a means of healing for children with specific health care needs as well as improve common childhood discomforts. Research has shown that pediatric massage can aide and enhances physiological, neurological and psychological development. Children who have undergone traumatic events or suffered illness or injury which has led to pain and discomfort can receive massage to help alleviate the discomfort. Pediatric massage not only combats the pain and symptoms of the conditions that they experience but it can also assist in recognizing and alleviating the stress, anxiety, fear or loneliness associated with medical treatment or life experiences. Massage therapy can help children recognize and deal with emotional stress in a positive and healthy manner. When anxiety and stress are under control and stress hormones are regulated then the physical nature of discomfort can be addressed. Massage is beneficial for people of all ages! Pediatric massage is for children between the ages of 1 – 19.
What is a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT)?
A CPMT is a massage therapist who has received advance training to provide massage to children with a variety of health care needs. The training includes a variety of massage techniques for working with children of various physical, developmental, emotional or mental challenges. Meagan graduated from University of Saint Francis with a Degree of Social Work and went on to train for her Massage Therapy degree at the Healing Arts Institute followed with her Pediatric training with the Liddle Kidz™ Foundation.
Please complete the Pediatric Intake form and bring with you to your first appointment. If you do not have the Pediatric Intake form prior to your appointment please arrive 20 min early so that you may fill out the welcome packet upon arrival. Some children may require release from their physician. Please ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your child receiving massage. I am happy to discuss treatment options with your child’s physician.
Parents, physicians and I want what may be best for your child but remember the pain, trauma or illness that your child has experienced. It is of the upmost importance that we first and foremost receive permission from your child to receive treatment. And, that the child feels in control of the session. He or she will not dictate the course of action for the appointment but they determine the length and what they may or may not feel comfortable with in regards to touch. Each session with your child will be tailored to his or her specific needs. Together we will work as a team to improve the health of your limited editions. Together we will encourage healing in a positive environment. This begins at a consultation with both parent and children to discuss rules, expectations and goals.
In order to work as a team and provide an overall positive experience I require that a parent or guardian be present throughout the length of the appointment. Younger children may request that you be present and or participate for their comfort. Depending upon the comfort level of children between 1-12 parents may be requested to stay in the room (discussed at consultation.) Parents of children 12-18 are welcome to be present at any time or may choose to wait in the waiting area. Siblings are welcome to be involved in portions of the appointment if the child is comfortable. This is a positive way to promote massage within the family.
What are the Benefits of Massage for my child
For children with health conditions, receiving massage and nurturing touch can’t solve the problem, but it can provide the child with many physical and psychological benefits as well. Massage therapy is not a cure. However over time massage is a huge benefit to your child’s health. Massage sessions may be scheduled routinely or for “maintenance.” Many people are unaware as to the benefit of pediatric massage. The following are a few of the benefits an individual may receive.
Reduces anxiety which helps the young ones deal with the stressful situations in a better way.
Reduces pain and discomfort they are suffering because of injury or any other medical condition.
Improves their self-esteem and confidence because their muscles get toned.
Releases the stress children may be facing because of their health problems.
Provides a sense of better health and wellbeing
Increase their ability to concentrate.
Calm muscle spasms
Improve their sleep patterns and is an ideal bedtime routine.
calm growing pains
Decrease irritability and hyperactivity.
Strengthen their bond with you
How long are appointments?
The massage therapy session for a child should be shorter than for an adult. Children have a short attention span and until trust is built and a therapist to client connection is established children are typically not comfortable with touch from a stranger for a lengthy period of time.
Understand your child and I will meet for up to 60 min. but this does not always mean your child will want to have massage for the entire amount of allotted time. Once your child loses interest, falls asleep or shows signs of discomfort the session is over. Massage and sensory massage should be healing and relaxing so when the child is done then we are done in order to maintain a safe environment. Typically once trust and comfort between child and therapist has been established a child will complete an entire session and look forward to their next appointment. And, admit we all have days that we are just not up for much.
All pediatric massage appointments are scheduled for 60 min.
What should my child wear?
Personal comfort and safety are priority. Please dress to your child’s personal comfort level. It is recommended to wear shorts and a tank, shorts and a sports bra, gymnastics leotard ect. If at any age a child / parent undresses for massage he or she will be fully covered at all times with the exception of the body part being worked on.
What should my child bring?
There is nothing that a child needs to bring to an appointment. However comfort is crucial. I suggest brining a favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animals for example that will help soothe the child. I want to work with your child in the most positive manner. Children have a favorite blanket or animal because it makes them have a sense of safety and security. Please limit to one item and please do not bring toys with multiple pieces that could break or be lost.
Should I massage my child?
Yes, please! Positive touch is very healthy. Massage is a great resource in routine and for bonding. You know your child better than anyone and you know what your child needs. Incorporate massage into your bed time routine with a story and a hand or foot massage. There are so many options and we will take some time to discuss this in our consultation.
Can the massage therapist diagnose my child?
NO! I only perform therapeutic techniques within my scope of practice. I can share my observations but I do not
1. Diagnose illness or injury
2. Prescribe or recommend medications and supplements
3. Perform manipulations or adjustments as a chiropractor would.
Will you work in coordination with my childs doctor, chiropractor, PT, OT?
Absolutely! If my care is independent to their health team, as long as I have written permission to share information with specific physicians, I am happy to share notes and observations by e-mail or meeting.
How Do I Make an Apt?
Please contact Oaktree Guidance & Wellness Center to schedule your appointment.
Do you accept insurance, cash, check or credit card?
Currently we do not accept insurance for massage services. However we will be petitioning to accept insurance very soon. At your consultation we will gather basic information so that we know what type of insurance your child has and can research the possibility of massage coverage. Until insurance is available payment is due at time of service. Cash, check and credit card are all accepted.