Massage for children offers a variety of health benefits. It is human nature to touch as a way of showing love and affection. This touch stimulates the body in positive ways to help it grow and develop. Massage is beneficial at any age but because children are still developing it can be especially helpful for them. Adult-child massage is a wonderful way to bond with children while offering them health benefits. In the AcroYoga practise, we usually use the technique of Thai massage. Children love Thai massage.
Here are some tips on how to get started with Thai massage for children.
When giving a Thai Massage there are some principles that will improve our skills and our technique. Understanding these principles is the key to offering the best massage you can possibly give:
Comfortable position: The best way to give comfort to your receiver is if you feel comfortable yourself too. Being open and facing from our centre to where we need to go, paying special attention to our lower back.
Full participation: Fully engaged in what we are doing, mind and hands are one, heart and hands are one. Listening, waiting for the opening and sinking, aware all the time of their reactions and needs and of our wandering minds and the gift of the present moment, coming back to it again and again.
Moving from the center Every move is initiated from the centre of our body. Connected to the earth, grounded and understanding that all movement and stillness comes from this one place.
Using Gravity. Using bodyweight, not muscular power, to go deeper and sink into the body. When we use force we create resistance, when we pour the weight and lean and lean some more and sink and sink some more we can go deep with grace.
PREPARATION FOR MASSAGE
Before you give the massage, prepare a safe and nice space to give the massage. Remember to ask where they want the massage, and also ask if there are parts of the body they don’t want to be touched and to respect this.
Start by giving pressure on the feet, then up the legs, on the back, close to the spin, never on the spin. Take your time. Invite the child also to tell what they like and need. Do you want more pressure or less pressure?
A calming way to finish the massage is to touch with very light brushes from the top of the head to the feet.
To close the massage, you can draw a drawing or a letter on the back, and the child has to guess what it is.
Most of the massage techniques, that you know for adults, you can apply for children. You just have to adjust the amount ot weight you give. Children love massage. and they can also give massages. It is fine to ask them also to give. They have to learn both to receive and give a massage.