BENEFITS OF MASSAGE, REIKI AND MEDITATION
Story and nurturing Massage for children with an ASD, Disability or additional need
- Massage reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep habits, behaviour and social interaction
- Massage increases a release of dopamine and serotonin, influencing alertness, focus, concentration and a ready state for action
- Serotonin produces melatonin which influences sleep
- Massage increases oxytocin, known to assist with social bonds and feel a sense of love and belonging
- Stress levels are lowered due to massage decreasing levels of cortisol
- Massage can provide sensory stimulation
- Massage can be offer in the home for a more relaxed and comfortable environment
When we use the calming strokes to massage our children, we stimulate the production of a ‘feel-good’ hormone called oxytocin which is released in you, your baby, your partner and even siblings, if they’re present. Oxytocin is the hormone that gives you that warm, loving feeling like when you hold your baby close or breastfeed.
You may find that your mood is lifted and you can feel more empowered as a parent when you exercise baby massage with your child. The time you set aside for a massage can be your special time together. As you massage your baby, it comes natural to chat to them and leaves plenty of time for eye contact.
The intimacy of touch with your child and the bonding experience is why massage can help mums with postnatal depression, or who are at risk of depression.
Infant massage is great for dads too. Many dads miss out on the hands-on care of their babies, especially if the baby is breastfed or the dad is working.
Massage has shown to be beneficial with premature babies, resulting in:
- An improvement in weight gain. A key nerve, called the vagus nerve is stimulated during massage, which connects the brain with important parts of the body, including the stomach. Stimulating this nerve can improve digestion and bowel movement, helping your baby to gain weight.
- Massage improves the parts of the nervous system that regulate our organs. So massage can help to keep your premature baby’s heart rate steady.
- Calmer response to stress and pain.
- Stable brain activity can grow at a normal rate, with the stimulation of massage. All children love stories. When combined with the benefits of simple massage strokes, stories present wonderful opportunities for creative fun and interaction. Sharing positive touch offers great scope for imaginative activity and learning for children of all ages and abilities.
Improved calmness and concentration
Increased self-confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem
Improved social interaction
Many children learn their numbers and letters through story massage.
Story massage offers a way of learning and communicating through play and positive interaction with others. We create our own story massages from favourite stories and nursery rhymes, or have fun creating our own stories to focus on interest etc.
Pre-teen and teenagers
The need for physical touch plays a great importance for a young person going through the transition from child to adult. Pre-teens and teenagers can be self conscious and shy of both themselves as a person and of their bodies. Providing sessions to educate and allow for expression through touch, can have great benefits in building self esteem, learning to value themselves and others and thrive through feeling nurtured..not to mention the opportunity to relax, focus, de-stress and re-kindle a bond within the family. These sessions can assist children with challenging behaviour and additional needs as a hormone is released through positive nurturing touch is called oxytocin, this is also known as the ‘love’ hormone and is mainly known to be felt between mother and child during breast feeding. This has an amazing effect on everyone involved and so the caregiver can also benefit through the sessions.
Reiki and meditation
Reiki treatment is a non-intrusive therapy. Unlike a massage there is no need for manipulation if requested. Reiki can be received by anyone anywhere and has a wonderful ability of distressing, calming and rejuvenating the client.
Reiki assists you to feel at one with yourself and offers an opportunity to clearly discover another part of yourself and begin to heal yourself from the inside out. I like to think of receiving reiki as receiving a boost of positive energy which dilutes any negative energy you may have and helps to heal you.