Massage For Your Young Athlete

Monday August 5, 2013

Written by: Michelle Taylor, LMBT #6648

All athletes look for an edge that can help them train more effectively, perform better and overcome injuries quickly.  Massage can be a very important part of an athletes’ regimen. Its well-known benefits such as decreasing muscle tension and diminishing the chances of injury extend to the young athlete as well.  But, it is because of their youth, that children have special needs to consider.  Growing bodies mean the bones and muscles are getting longer and this can cause the muscles to feel painful or sore even without the demands of keeping fit.  Massage improves muscle flexibility and range of motion, resulting in improved power and performance.

Massage is also a wonderful stress-buster for children. We often think about stress as only an adult condition. But if you think about it, even young infants and children are prone to stress. A young child starting school who is unfamiliar with the area or children in the class will experience stress.  The anxiety of an upcoming competition and pressure to perform well can cause a sleepless night before the all important event. One of the consistent findings in studies of the benefits of massage therapy is a reduction in stress and stress hormone levels. Getting a good night’s sleep before an event can provide a competitive edge.

Many of our adult clientele can trace their existing aches and pains to activities they participated in or injuries they suffered when they were young; football collisions, gymnastics and cheerleading falls, repetitive motion injuries from swinging a bat, serving a ball, etc.  Children pride themselves on their resilience and often do not admit when they’ve hurt themselves.  The skillful fingers of the massage therapist can find knots and tender spots they sometimes don’t even know that they have, effectively nipping problems in the bud so that they won’t have issues when they get “old”.

Even if your kids are not engaged in an organized sport, poor posture, falls, and the backpack full of books that they carry around are enough to warrant a treatment.  Sitting for long periods of time, whether at the computer, texting, or in front of the TV can rival your computer time at work.  Stiff necks and shoulders are not only for the young at heart.  Besides, most kids love to receive massages and feel special when they receive this individual attention.

And of course, you are most welcome to sit in and observe.  You may even pick up some pointers for massaging them at home.

For more information and to make an appointment, please see front desk staff or speak with a massage therapist.