9 Wonderful Benefits of Pediatric Massage

Some of my fondest childhood memories were doing massage and back tickle trains with my parents and siblings. Loving touch in our family was always promoted and gave us all a sense of comfort and closeness growing up. This is definitely what drove my ambitions to become a massage therapist and why I continue to share the wonderful human connection that touch can give.

When my first daughter was born in 2007, her great Ama came to visit. She brought all herkai and Cy Ped massage oils and within minutes of meeting her, began massaging our sweet baby. She taught me about the traditional Indian massage that is commonly practised on babies when they are born. After her visit, I began massaging my daughter every evening, creating a beautiful routine, that still continues today.

Later that same year, I began my training to become a massage therapist. The more I learned about the benefits of massage, the more massage grew into my greatest passion. Being a new mom, I identified most with massage for infants, children, pre natal and post natal health and wanted to develop a specialization in those areas. In the early part of my career, I worked with lots of new moms and their babies, teaching one-on-one classes in the treatment room, as well as group classes at the YMCA and AHS centres around the city. The families I worked with loved the new skill that could help them bond, nurture, and calm their infants. Recently, I was apart of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Trial at the Stollery Hospital in Edmonton. As part of a team of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, we were worked with infants and children in oncology, general pediatrics, and cardiology.

Doing massage on my children and clients, as well as teaching parents about massage on their children truly enriches me, as I see positive outcomes in both the short and long term treatment of our most precious beings.

Benefits of Pediatric Massage:

  •  Naturally rewarding way for both you and your children to relieve stress.
  • Effective treatment to offer relief of discomfort from constipation, colic, and gas by helping aid digestion.
  •  Improves the infants or child’s delicate immune system by decreasing the body’s levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that takes a toll on immune functioning.
  •  Causes the release of oxytocin, which is a nurturing hormone to reduce anxiety and helps infants and children relax.
  • Better sleep quality and easier time falling asleep
  • Helps to increase circulation, increase alertness and enhance nervous system, neurological and intellectual development.
  • Massage improves communication, by increasing confidence and sensitivity to their cues.
  • Parents who massage their infant are able to build a greater bond, as it gives them time to interact and connect on a deeper level then regular day‐to‐day contact provides. (Massage time is when my daughter talks fully about her thoughts and feelings vs the one word conversations that typically take place over the dinner table).
  • I also feel massage is very important for teaching babies and children what positive, nurturing touch feels like, so they can then differentiate between that and negative touch.

For more information on Pediatric Massage or to book an appointment please email me at info@shaktihealth.ca

or check out my events  page for upcoming classes.

STAY TUNED FOR EXCITING BABY MASSAGE NEWS COMING THIS FALL!

The Benefits of Abdominal Massage

The abdomen is not generally a place where my clients ask to get massaged and for a long time I didn’t include it in my regular massage routine, to allow more time for the areas that my clients wanted to focus on. But recently I have been including it in more of my massage treatments and I am finding the more I treat the muscles, ligaments, and organs within the abdomen, the more benefits I see.

Improved Digestion: Struggling with what Dr.s always thought was just IBS for many years, and later finding out I was both celiac and had trouble digesting the proteins found in dairy, my digestion has always been a major issue in my life. Pain, feeling “stuck”, inflammation, etc. were always a constant. Learning self abdominal massage was a major relief for me. I would put heat over my belly and then give myself a massage, do some digestive yoga postures, and just focus on belly breathing. (Our breath is the BEST self massage)! After becoming a massage practitioner, I realized how many other people suffer with digestive issues and bloating too.

Once I began treating them with abdominal massage, I would get the most amazing feedback. “Feeling empty”, “Flat”, and many texts within hours saying that constipation had been relieved, and that they were pain free. (for both adults and the babies that I treat)

Abdominal massage always works with the natural flow of the large intestine, which helps to move waste products through smoothly. It also helps to relax and bring more blood to the digestive organs, which helps them function optimally. If you suffer with pain, bloating, constipation, etc, please don’t feel shy to let me know and I would be extremely happy to treat your abdomen with massage techniques.

Stress Relief: Im sure many of you have heard that our intestines are our 2nd brain. If you have ever had a pit in your stomach when stressed, or butterflies when your nervous, you can see the correlation between your thoughts and the way your digestive organs function. Stress can cause us to shallow breath which means our belly’s are not getting that wonderful natural breath massage, and we can start to feel..stuck! Stress can cause the muscles to be in a constant state of contraction which also wreaks havoc on the flow. Massage for the abdomen therefore, relaxes not only the digestive organs themselves, but also the mind. It helps refocus the breath and bring attention to full, deep, belly breathing.

Improved Reproductive Health: As part of my fertility massage, I always treat the abdomen. By massaging the abdomen and the organs and ligaments of the reproductive system, it can greatly increase fertility in both men and women. For woman, the ligaments surrounding the uterus can be tight causing the uterus to tilt or prolapse, which can cause reproductive organs to shift, constrict the flow of blood and lymph, and disrupt nerve connections. By treating the area with massage, it helps to relax the ligaments, which helps to restore the balance of the organs allowing for toxins to flush and for blood to come in and bring nutrients that help tone tissue and balance the hormones essential for a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. Massage also helps to reduce adhesions and scar tissue caused by previous surgeries, fibroids and cysts, and endometriosis. For men, massage helps to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs which can relive prostate swelling, varicose veins, premature ejaculation, and some impotency problems. Massage is recommended at any time, but can be especially helpful for fertility when timed with the womans menstrual cycle. I generally recommend both partners (if possible) coming in 6-8 days prior to ovulation, since this is the optimal time leading up to possible conception.

Post Natal Rehabilitation: Post Natal abdominal massage is extremely beneficial for new moms. After 10 months of the uterine ligaments stretching and loosening to accommodate those beautiful bundles of joy, they can become loose and weakened, causing tilting and prolapse as mentioned above. Also, during those wonderful months scar tissue can develop (or occur from C section surgery), the abdomen can separate, organs shuffle, digestion can be out of whack, sleep is disturbed and there is generally more stress. (Im not making this motherhood stuff sound great–but trust me, it is!). Abdominal massage is very beneficial in breaking down scar tissue, bringing in blood to help heal and repair, relieving stress and constipations and bringing back the body to balance. I recommend new moms coming in as soon as they feel ready after baby is born. It could be the next day even. I can check the abdominals for separation at this time and give a full body massage with the abdominal treatment included. Babies are always welcome to join their moms for the massage. Abdominal massage for moms who have had C sections, should wait until the 6-8 week check up, to insure that the incision has healed enough that there is no stress placed on it.

Having your abdomen massaged can seem uncomfortable at first, but once you try it a few times, I promise, you will feel the benefits! Let me know at your next treatment if you would like to give it a try!