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Posted on: March 18, 2019

Teaching Touch Has it's Benefits

Adults in the United States are more aware than ever of the benefits of massage, but a recent article in Massage Today suggests that children benefit from massage therapy too. Referring to a review in the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, Massage Today says touch helps young people in a variety of ways. 

How Massage Therapy Helps Children 

Infant weight gain 
The Department of Neonatology at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. released information that shows premature babies who receive massage gain more weight than premature infants who do not receive healing touch. Researchers think physical touch leads to the release of growth hormones. 

Relief of stress 
Massage reduces levels of blood sugar and stress hormones. Children who receive healing touch feel more relaxed and have a stronger immune system. They may also be less aggressive than their peers. 

Improvement in test scores 
In one study, preschoolers who received a 15-minute massage made higher scores on an IQ test than those who read books. According to the International Journal of Neuroscience, massage made them more alert and better able to solve math problems. 

Stimulation of motor development 
Massage reduces the discomfort of tight muscles and growing pains. It also improves motor function in children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome or HIV infections. 

The Massage in Schools Program, founded in 2000 to teach students to give student-to-student massages in the classroom, is one example of teaching therapeutic massage techniques. Children reserve the right to refuse a massage, and touch is allowed only on the head, back, and arms. A massage therapy student may do well to consider a massage school or program that teaches a licensed massage therapist how to perform therapeutic touch for both children and adults. 

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