Massages with Ali
Providing massage and touch therapy is within the scope of practice of many health care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists. However, massage is not frequently practiced by these practitioners because time constraints or lack of comfort with providing massage therapy. Qualified practitioners, (like myself) who practice massage therapy for paediatric clients, and patients, provide numerous benefits to the child and improve their family’s satisfaction with the care their child receives. This compassionate care can also contribute to a positive healing environment, which has been shown the satisfaction of members of the health team.
The physical, psychological and emotional benefits of touch for infants, children and paediatric patients who are hospitalised have been well documented in published research studies. Equally documented are the effects of touch deprivation for hospitalised children.
Many health care providers have explored the use of massage for populations of children and young adults with special health care needs. Overall, the evidence that massage provides global benefits to a child’s health far outweighs any evidence of negative effects.
The following benefits have been documented in research findings, and some studies also show that infants diagnosed with complex medical conditions may find greater benefit from the intervention of massage. For many children (and young adults) this type of therapy is not widely available and in many cases can look to improve many aspects of not only their lives, but also their carers lives too, in aiding for a calmer, more relaxed, and happier child/young adult.
For children with special healthcare needs
- Improved muscle tone
- Improved joint mobility
- Improved respiratory function
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved gastrointestinal function (regular bowel movements)