Pediatric Massage Q&A
What is pediatric massage?
A pediatric massage is a session geared specifically for growing kids. I offer 45-minute pediatric appointments; shorter sessions are a perfect amount of time for younger kids and those who are new to massage, although some teenage clients prefer a full 60 or 90 minutes. In many cases a pediatric massage is also gentle in pressure, since kids are smaller in size, but I work with the pediatric client during the session to figure out the right level of pressure.
The most important thing about a pediatric massage is good communication. Your child's pediatric appointment will begin with a step-by-step explanation of what a massage session is like, and give the child ample opportunities to ask questions and give input. I will also check in from time to time with the child during the session, giving information about my massage techniques, asking them about preferences and pressure, and making sure they are comfortable.
Massage is a beneficial tool in maintaining health and wellness, and I am grateful for the opportunity to introduce kids to this modality.
How does my child get ready for a pediatric massage session?
First, select what the child will wear during the massage. Kids are appropriately draped with a sheet on the massage table, just like adult clients, but they will probably be more comfortable wearing clothing beneath the sheet as well. Young children should choose soft, loose-fitting clothing such as a camisole or tank top, and athletic or bicycle shorts. Teenagers may wear something similar, or can dress down to their comfort level under the sheet.
It is also helpful to talk with your child about goals for the massage before the appointment, because this will be one of the things I ask about before we begin. Is there a specific issue your family wants help with, like anxiety & stress relief? Does your child need sports or injury recovery? Are they interested in relaxation or therapeutic massage for muscle tension? Knowing what is most important to work on will help us make a plan for the session before it begins.
Will I be in the room during my child's massage?
I require a parent/legal guardian to attend the first session with each minor client. Children age 13 and younger must always have a parent present in the room; teenagers age 14 and older are not required to have a parent in the room if both parent and child give consent.
What ages and populations do you work with?
I massage pediatric clients ages 5 and older who are in good health; I want to have clear communication, consent, and participation from the child during the session. I would be happy to make a referral to specialty practitioners who work on infants and toddlers, or on children with cancer or other medical conditions.
Massage sessions that are just right for kids and teens!
Pediatric massage targets the issues that affect kids the most, such as:
Anxiety and stress
Muscle strain from sports
Need for calmness and relaxation