NurtureMe

The importance of touch – Older Child Massage

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We’ve been lucky to have three very affectionate, cuddly, tactile children who snuggled in our beds for hours in the morning, who are comfortable to pop through at night if they’ve had a bad dream or awake for any reason and we often find them sleeping in our beds as we walk upstairs at night.  Recently, there’s been times on a Sunday morning, they’ve rushed downstairs to put the TV on, they’ve pulled away from cuddles and kisses, they’ve stopped wanting to hold our hands and  are becoming emotionally independent.  In many ways this is a natural progression and something that I’m proud off – that they are going confidently into this big bad world. However, I’m also sad to be losing that connection with them and those times of intimacy and affection.

I met Anne Nash recently from Edinburgh Baby Massage who told me about her Older Child Massage course.  All three of my boys have loved massage – we practised baby massage with all of them, they have continued to like ‘sage’ or ‘circles’ as Vincent calls it.  It sounded like the ideal way to keep connecting for us.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I’d heard that there would be hands on massage on each other.  I was slightly uncomfortable before I went, however, trusted it would be fine as I am sure every mum has the same complexities about their bodies.  It actually turned out to be extremely comfortable, relaxing and at times a giggle.

The class meets for three consecutive weeks and then there’s a follow up a few weeks later to go through what we’ve learned as a consolidation exercise.  Over the three weeks we’ve been massaging each other with Anne’s supervision.  It’s been so relaxing and therapeutic in itself.  We’ve learned how to give massage to our children in specific areas (hands, feet, arms, legs, back, face and head) and fully clothed massage which has been great out when out on the beach or other places.

Bringing my new found knowledge home, I’ve loved spending this time with the kids.  We’ve started to block off evenings where we do massage.  I’ve even put on some “special water music” on and candles. Peter and Victor who are five years old are absolutely loving it.  So much so, they’ve been massaging me!  Vincent who is three has enjoyed some elements of it – he doesn’t lie still enough – and generally giggles about how tickly it is.  I’ve found he does really like it on his hands and through his clothes.

What I learned from Anne is how important the power of touch is in keeping open the communication channels between mums and boys especially.  She said it was like putting credit in the bank so when things weren’t as good there was always a good reserve to keep the relationship strong and I can really see how that would work.  I am confident that in the future this will keep us fully engaged together as mum and son – each with our own unique relationship.  It gives each boy a chance to talk individually about things that are important to them (so far, Scooby Doo and lego).  Anne also gave us her own experiences about how massage had helped her relationship with her children and numerous real life stories too with positive impacts.

We were also taught about the Massage in Schools programme and were demonstrated that routine – this helps channel children’s energy positively in school and relax them into their day.  There have been many positive outcome for Massage in School – specifically around bullying – the power of touch in phenomenal and should be invested in.

We got to hear about the many health benefits of massage including pre-term babies, eczema, asthma, diabetes, cancer in children, depression, autism and more. There was so much positive information to take it.

I would very highly recommend this class to any parents with older children.  The age is 2-18 but from my own experience I reckon from age 4/5 onwards would be of most benefit.  It’s been a fantastic experience, relaxing but also at times hilarious.  Well worth the investment.  A huge thank you to Anne for hosting the class and telling me about it.

Much love, Tricia xxx

For more details go to http://www.edinburghbabymassage.co.uk or call Anne on 07879 448181.