Massage therapy and stress and anxiety in children

Massage ChildA study conducted at University of Miami Medical School, Florida, USA, revealed that massage may offer considerable help for children suffering from stress-related disorders. A 30-minute back massage was given daily for a 5-day period to 52 children who were hospitalized as suffering from depression and adjustment disorders. Subjective assessments were made by the children themselves and by the nurses based upon perceived anxiety levels, sleep patterns and the willingness of the child to be co-operative. Objective analyses were also made by analysing stress hormone levels in the both the urine and saliva. The results were then compared to a control group who were shown relaxing videotapes for 30 minutes instead of massage therapy.

 

The results of the study revealed that the children receiving a 30 minute massage were less depressed or anxious and had lower saliva cortisol levels after the massage. In addition, nurses rated the massage group as being more co-operative on the last day of the study, and noted that the children were sleeping better than the children in the control group and that their night-time sleep had increased over the 5 day period. Massage therapy also had the effect of reducing urinary cortisol and norepinephrine levels in the children suffering from depression which was not observed in any of the children in the control group.

 

The researchers were left in no doubt that massage therapy offers real benefits for children suffering from stress and anxiety.

 

Field T; Morrow C; Valdeon C; Larson S; Kuhn C; Schanberg S. Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. Journal of the American

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4 responses to “Massage therapy and stress and anxiety in children

  1. I love all the recent studies on the benefits of massage therapy for children. As a mom and baby/child massage instructor I’m happy with every promotion of this wonderful way to bond with your child and to help them stay healthy.
    Thank you for sharing this information.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I do believe this is one of the most important basics in life – touch. I learned so much from my 4 children. I checked out your web + blog, enjoyed it very much. So nice to touch down with a collegue. Anna

  2. hi there this is a very up to date and informative can i put a link on one of my blogs -regards Angela

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