Pediatric Massage Reduces Symptoms of Serious Illnesses
by Michael Evers
Researchers evaluating the effects of massage, or "pediatric touch therapy," on infants with various disease conditions have concluded that it may play a role in improvement of symptoms.
Pediatric touch therapy involves a parent or caregiver massaging areas of a child's body such as the face, neck, head, shoulders, arms, hands, back, legs, and feet.
"Our research suggests that touch is as important to infants and children as eating and sleeping," said Tiffany Field, PhD, director and founder of the Touch Research Institute (TRI), at the University of Miami School of Medicine. TRI was established via a start-up grant from Johnson & Johnson in 1992. It is the only enter in the world devoted solely to the study of touch and its application in science and medicine.
Researchers at TRI conducted four soon-to-be-published studies on the pediatric health effects of massage. Parents in the studies were asked to gently massage their infant or toddler for between 15 to 20 minutes each night just before bedtime for a period of 30 days.
The investigators said massage helped four different child illnesses:
- Juvenile diabetes
Nearly a third of diabetic children fail to comply with the medication, food, and exercise regimens necessary to keep their blood sugar levels under control. After nightly massage therapy, "children improved compliance with insulin and food regulation," Field said, "and had lower blood glucose (sugar) levels."
Peaks in levels of stress hormones like cortisol may help contribute to asthmatic congestion and respiratory 'flare-ups'. Massage therapy brought children "an immediate decrease in anxiety and stress hormone levels," Field said, after which "their peak air flow and pulmonary functions improved" as well.
- Sleep Problems
Ansomnia, in either its juvenile or adult forms, has long been linked to stress. Fields said that only a third of children who received regular bedtime massages reported continuing insomnia by the end of the one-month study, compared with 70% of those youngsters who were simply read to before lights-out.
Field believes pediatric massage has broad health benefits. "Touch therapy triggers many physiological changes that help infants and children grow and develop," she explained. "For example, massage can stimulate nerves in the brain which facilitate food absorption, resulting in faster weight gain. It also lowers levels of stress hormones, resulting in improved immune function."
At Medspa Health Centre, we offer a comprehensive variety of referral and non-referral massage therapy treatments, including:
Our Registered Massage Therapists
Nadia is a graduate of the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. She also brings the expertise of her previous
education and work experience from Moscow, Russia.
She has successfully completed training in massage therapy, hydrotherapy, remedial exercises, breast care,
arthrokinetic therapy, TMJ, and cranial therapy. She has also taught physiology at PCU College. Nadia plays an
active role in assisting patients in implementing their treatment plans while managing the staff and overall
business strategy of Medspa. Nadia has been practicing for more than 22 years and is a knowledgeable massage
therapy practitioner known for her caring and gifted hands.
Sergei is passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and enjoys sports of all kinds. He strongly believes in
the importance of having a balanced approach to health and in prioritizing health concerns when they arise in
life. He received his accreditation from WCCMT, which is one of Canada's most rigorous and reputable colleges of
massage therapy, and graduated with honours at the top of his class. Sergei pays close attention to the needs of
his patients and tailors each treatment plan to address the areas of care that are needed, and the existing
strengths of the patient that can be utilized, to heal and repair.
Brianne is a graduate of the 3000 hour program at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. She has an
excellent background in customer service. She is proud to work in the healthcare industry and thoroughly enjoys
helping people. Massage therapy has had a positive affect on her life and she is excited to spread her knowledge
and experience to her patients. Brianne especially likes working with pre and postnatal women to help them relax
and teach them to care for their bodies.
David is a Registered Massage Therapist and Shiatsu Therapist with a focus on therapeutic treatment. With over
20+ years of international experience. David has the clinical competencies and knowledge of an RMT in addition
to experience and training in traditional modalities of Osteopathic and Myofascial techniques as well has a
background in Shiatsu and Chi Kung. He has studied Japanese fencing, Kung Fu and Zen meditation for over 18
years. David’s broad skill set allows him to tailor treatments to suit the client’s individual needs; from deep
tissue to very gentle techniques and techniques that can be done through clothing.
Haydn Yee is a graduate of the Vancouver College of Massage Therapy full-time program. As a Registered Massage
Therapist, Haydn is skilled in trigger point release, myofascial release, and overall body maintenance. While
Haydn is able to provide a wide variety of techniques and intensities in his work, he especially enjoys
providing deep pressure massage, and likes to work with patients who are suffering from gluteal, forearm, or
neck pain. In his work, Haydn believes that every patient is unique and deserves a treatment plan tailored to
their specific needs. He is very empathetic and brings that empathy into his treatments.