Pediatric Massage Therapy
All bodies can benefit from nurturing touch, no matter the age, although children are in a unique position to benefit from it particularly. Children need a range of positive forms of touch stimulation, in order for their brains, bodies, and spirits to grow and develop fully and healthily. Healthy, nurturing touch can promote growth, development and performance across psychological, neurological and physiological ranges. What’s more, most children just love being touched.
In children, joints are still developing. Therefore, traditional spa-type bodywork treatments for adults may not be effective or even suitable for kids. Children need special bodywork techniques and methods catered to their specific bodies and unique needs.
Among the key differences in bodywork for children and adults include:
- Pace – Bodywork for children tends to move at a slower pace than for adults.
- Permission – With adults, permission to touch is assumed by virtue of their presence at a scheduled appointment, but children are not typically aware that they have the right to refuse unwanted touch, especially when their parent or guardian has set it all up. That’s why every child is told what type of touch is going to be performed before it’s performed and asked if that’s okay with him or her.
- Pressure – The pressure applied to a child’s muscles is necessarily lighter than that applied to an adult’s muscles.
- Position – Children’s bodies can’t necessarily get into the same positions as comfortably as adults. Therefore, the positions our practitioners use for children’s bodywork is specific to what suits their bodies.
Children with particular medical challenges, like chronic pain, high-tone or low-tone musculature, depression or other post-surgical recovery or quality of life issues can often find measures of targeted relief for both the short and long terms from therapeutic bodywork. Therapeutic bodywork has even been found beneficial for children facing conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy.
A child need not be facing a medical crisis in order to benefit from therapeutic bodywork, either. He or she could benefit from it significantly after performing excessively intense exercise or athletics. The child could be facing an emotional crisis from an event like a death in the family, parental divorce, difficulty in school or a natural disaster like a house fire or flood.
In addition, children who receive therapeutic bodywork can experience any of the following benefits:
- Reduced anxiety
- Better sleep and digestion
- Improved immune system and respiratory functions
- Enhanced nervous system development
What We Provide
At VitalCare in Westminster,
Colorado, we provide a full range of therapeutic services to children as well
as adults, including bodywork. Every time we perform bodywork with a youngster,
our goal is always to provide safe, non-intrusive and effective medical interventions
for a host of health care obstacles and concerns.
We carefully set up our bodywork area to make the child as comfortable as possible, avoiding anything that makes the setting feel too clinical. We use a combination of elements to produce a calming and relaxing environment for both practitioner and patient.
While bodywork is medically classified as a Complimentary
Alternative Medicine (CAM), we at VitalCare work to provide an integrative
approach to medical care. As such, every child gets customized care to target
personalized goals, whether he or she is already well or facing medical
obstacles. Note that therapeutic bodywork is never intended to replace,
supplant or substitute for a child’s medically prescribed treatment.
Massage therapy services can be accessed through private pay or the Medicaid waivers we accept for coverage of children’s services, which include:
- Children’s Extensive Support (CES)
- Children with Life Limiting Illness (CLLI)
- Supported Living Services (SLS)
Different Kids, Different Care
Our providers will customize every session to the given child’s circumstances, goals and needs. For example, considerations could include whether increased or decreased blood flow could be advantageous or not for a child. This would determine whether or not manual tissue manipulation is applied. If blood flow in a child were increased, it could affect a medication’s rate of absorption, altering the intent of the prescription.
Before Every Session
Whether it’s your child’s
first or hundred-and-first experience with therapeutic bodywork, there are
certain items to always have availables to ensure it’s as comfortable, safe and
effective for your child as possible. This includes your child’s preferred toy,
stuffed animal, pillow or blanket.
We include a 10-20 minute consultation with the caregiver and child before any program of therapeutic care is determined or applied. Every session starts with building rapport with the child. Our practitioners request permission from the child to touch his or her body before any form of therapeutic touch is provided. Bodywork can move all sorts of energies and release all sorts of thoughts, memories and emotions. If a child is processing health care trauma or a medical situation, therapeutic bodywork could even lead to traumatic responses. Establishing trust between practitioner and child is therefore essential for the work to be therapeutic no matter what arises. Our practitioners are even trained to help children understand appropriate boundaries where touch is concerned and to overcome obstacles to safe, healthy, gentle, loving and, above all, appropriate touch.
We encourage parents to stay in the room with their child while the bodywork is being performed, particularly during a child’s initial few sessions. Children remain clothed throughout the entire session. We recommend children wear loose sweats, pajama bottoms or other soft, “lounging” pants or shorts and a loose comfortable shirt, ideally without snaps, buttons or other hard accessories. That said, most of our clients simply wear the same clothes they wear out and about for their sessions. We ask the accompanying parent or guardian to remove the child’s shoes and, if applicable, any orthotics. Our practitioners avoid using any essential oils, creams or lotions in their sessions so as to avoid the possibilities of allergies and contraindications with medications or medical conditions. That said, if you have such a product you would like us to use in your child’s session, we would just ask that you as the caregiver provide it.
Appointments can be scheduled for 30-minutes in office, or 60-minutes in-home. Please call 888-664-4222 or use the “Request Information” form in the side bar for more information.
I saw Meagan at VitalCare for a prenatal massage at 38 weeks pregnant. Not only was the facility clean, bright, and welcoming, but Meagan was an absolute joy to be with. She made the whole process extremely comfortable, listened to my requests and needs, and did a wonderful job with my massage. She is thoughtful, thorough, and very skilled. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone, and I definitely intend to return regularly.
Meagan and her team of therapist are outstanding. I love booking online and I have seen multiple therapists, all have been excellent. I recommend VitalCare to all of my friends and family!
I have been working with Meagan for over two years. She has literally kept me on the field playing soccer! Since working with Meagan, I have not suffered an injury, prior to working with Meagan, I was sidelined 2-3 times a year.