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.
Peppino is a 3,000 hour program graduate from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy. Throughout his life, he has been involved in a variety of competitive and non-competitive sports. As a result, he has had first-hand experiences with different injuries and the short and long-term difficulties they pose in day to day life. From a young age, Peppino was passionate about helping people and knew he wanted to pursue a career in improving the health and lives of others. This, coupled with his direct experience in learning how to cope with and repair different injuries from his lifelong involvement in sports, ultimately lead him to his calling as a practitioner in the field of massage therapy.
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.