Better sleep for child (& parent)- Sleep? What's that? As a new or seasoned parent you are well aware that children have difficulty sleeping, skip naps, and are wired at bedtime. After a long day our bodies are filled with Cortisol (stress hormone.) Massage increases serotonin and dopamine which may balance out the stress and aids in restful sleep.
Helps with belly issues- Since digestive problems can be the result of stress, relieving stress may encourage healthy intestinal function. Additionally, abdominal massage (in a specific direction) can help children who have issues with constipation, gas, etc.
Relaxing- Most adults who seek massage are looking to unwind and relax. Let's not forget that children are busy, experience new things each day, and spend hours of sitting in school. They need massage too!
Dedicated bonding time- Life is hectic, we all know this, but it is important to give your child the love and attention they need. Carve out 10 minutes a day to give your child a massage! Massage increases the levels of Oxytocin in our bodies which is our natural "cuddle" and "love" hormone which encourages bonding between caregiver and child.
Opens communication- Massage is a great way to open communication with your child. It can present an opportunity to let them open up, ask questions, and tell you about their day, and you to tell them about yours. It can also help new parents learn the cues of their new babies.
Decreases stress- Ah yes, stress. Stress does not only comes from a hard day at work and rush hour traffic (am I right Atlanta?!?), it can come from a having a bad dream, losing a favorite toy, not being able to communicate the same way as someone else, or problems at school. Massage naturally lowers Cortisol levels and may increase Serotonin and Oxytocin which makes us feel happy, less stressed, and less anxious.
Improves body's functions- Blood flow and circulation. We've all got it (hopefully!) Massage increases blood flow which in turns carries metabolic wastes away from our organs, muscles and improves overall body functions and circulation.
Empowers child- Children are often told what to do and when to do it. While we know it may be for their own good, children still need a sense of control over their own bodies and need to make their own decisions. Massage teaches children about permission, how to dedicate restful/quiet time for themselves, and what nurturing touch is. Please note: If a child does not want to receive massage, do not massage them. Receiving a massage is their choice.