by Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Updated April 2016
Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies may include a variety of mind-body disciplines such as pediatric massage therapy
The number of children receiving a variety of complementary alternative medicine (CAM) therapies is growing, as more healthcare practitioners become educated in the area, and parents read the research findings advocating for these services. Children benefit from the unique combination of western medicine, eastern medicine and the addition of complementary alternative therapies.
CAM therapies have continued to become increasingly popular in pediatric populations. CAM therapies may include a variety of mind-body disciplines such as pediatric massage therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback, hypnosis, yoga, art therapy, energy therapy, and craniosacral techniques.
There is a need for more practitioners specializing in pediatric massage therapy
Many pediatric clients report that they feel more relief of pain, and discomfort, after receiving pediatric massage therapy. Many feel less depressed, less anxiety and may rest more soundly. However, not all healthcare facilities have the services of trained pediatric therapists. There is a need for more practitioners specializing in pediatric massage therapy. Numerous studies demonstrate the effectiveness of pediatric massage therapy when safely provided by trained and certified pediatric massage therapists.
Due to a pediatric client’s vulnerability both medically and emotionally, training for the healthcare professional considering this specialized care is required. Neither standard medical training, nor, massage therapy education provides you with the customized training necessary to best serve this population.
Online courses in hands-on techniques are not as effective as In-person classroom attendance to truly be trained in this area
When researching training in pediatric massage therapy, you must consider how comprehensive the training course will be. Comprehensive pediatric massage training provides massage therapists, bodywork practitioners and health care professionals with educational and professional training to enhance their intuitive skills. Through appropriate training, healthcare professionals and massage therapists learn to provide massage therapy for children with special health care needs, who are hospitalized or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and may be living with the support of hospice care.
Effective training includes massage techniques for working with children with varied physical, developmental, mental and emotional challenges. The benefits and importance of individualized adaptations, including cultural considerations, for using massage therapy should be explained, demonstrated and practiced during supervised hands-on sessions in class. Online courses in hands-on techniques are not as effective to truly be trained in this area. In-person classroom attendance is required.
When considering specializing in pediatric massage, do your research and choose training and education that will help you to achieve your goals, and provide the best care for your pediatric clients
Discussions of working within a variety of settings, including medical institutions and healthcare settings is mandatory. Additionally, there should be an emphasis on the vulnerability of children. Respect for boundaries, safety guidelines, and considerations for working in medical settings including infection control and patient privacy must be discussed.
As in anything you consider pursuing professionally, when considering specializing in pediatric massage, do your research and choose training and education that will not only help you to achieve your goals, but also to practice safely and effectively for the healthy benefit of pediatric clients. It is with the best training that you provide the best care for children.
Massage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist. Pediatric massage and nurturing touch are the most appropriate massage techniques to use in this population. When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential.
For more information visit Comprehensive Pediatric Massage Training Course (CPMT)
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