Do children need massage? In a word, yes! Everyone benefits from nurturing touch, and children most of all. Safe therapeutic touch teaches children about their bodies and about healthy ways to experience pleasure, and provides parents a way to calm and comfort and connect with their child(ren) outside of the massage session. It even can help kids sleep better and recover more easily from the stresses and injuries of daily life.
The Holding Space Massage approach to pediatric massage, certified by the world-renowned Liddle Kidz Foundation, is rooted in the idea that children are fully their own persons, but they aren't simply miniature adults. Massage for children (6-12) doesn't look like massage for youth and teens (10-21) which doesn't look like massage for adults. Younger children will remain fully clothed, or wearing comfortable shorts/pants and a tshirt. We may or may not use any oils; some children like the feel, or want to know what massage "like mom or dad gets" is like, but primarily we work over clothing. The massage may not take place on the table! If a child doesn't want to lie down, we will often work on the floor or in a chair; we do the massage wherever your child is comfortable. A 45 minute pediatric session may only consist of a few minutes of hands-on touch -- but! both you and your child are learning all about massage, and healthy touch, and their own bodily autonomy, and you will come away with concrete, practical skills to bring massage into your daily lives together.
Massage may be especially important for children experiencing body or gender dysphoria, or with creative gender presentations that may make them the subject of negative comments or attention from an ignorant public. With regular massage, from a licensed massage therapist trained in pediatric massage or from their own parents, transgender or gender creative children have an opportunity to learn that their bodies can be a source of pleasure and joy and relaxation, and that they are worthy of safe touch and acceptance and celebration exactly as they are.