During a recent visit to a children’s hospital, the mother of a boy asked me a question. Her baby Amy was just eight months old and was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (a rare childhood cancer that results from immature retinal cells in one or both eyes).
The head nurse pointed my mother in my direction, and when she approached, she asked me if she had given her daughter a message. That same day, I visited the retinoblastoma clinic, as I usually do. During my visits, I teach massage to families and I massage children while they wait for their turn on the exam table. Spa in DIP
Today mom and I started talking for a while and she cried thanking me for massaging her daughter. Every time Amy arrives at the hospital, she must undergo anesthesia for routine eye exams. Oftentimes, it is difficult for a young child to stay still for an eye exam, so anesthesia becomes a necessary component of these visits.
During her previous twelve visits to the hospital, Amy had not been able to relax and the experience had been accompanied by screaming, crying, fear, anxiety, and stress for everyone involved. Her mother shared how heartbreaking it was to see her baby in so much pain with no way to comfort him.
Mom’s eyes were watery and she said
Mom’s eyes were watery and she said, “Thank you for giving my daughter the medicine she needs to heal. It was amazing to know that beyond a simple massage session for a girl, she had touched the whole family.
When a child is diagnosed with a difficult medical condition or has to spend time in the hospital, his symptoms are often accompanied by anxiety, pain, and fear. Parents and caregivers may not know how they can participate in their children’s health care and make them feel more comfortable.
This is where massage comes in. Not only can a trained pediatric massage therapist provide these children with hands-on massages, but parents can also learn simple techniques so they can do the same.
Complementary therapies are increasingly being integrated into traditional cancer centers and programs. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, nearly 12% of children and adolescents in the United Arab Emirates use complementary or alternative medicine, known as CAM. About 66 percent of children with cancer use some type of CAM.
Although most research has focused on the effects of massage on adult patients, massage treatment has also been shown to alleviate pain in children with cancer. Massage is one of the most commonly used pain management strategies for pediatric patients with a recent diagnosis of leukemia. Massage in Rigga
Research has shown that massage therapy can alleviate the physical symptoms and emotional discomfort associated with pediatric medical conditions. Studies conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine show that massage can relieve pain, anxiety, and depression in pediatric clients. Nobody likes to think that a child is in pain, much less suffering from anxiety or depression. For these children and their families, though, it is a reality. Massage can ease pain, anxiety, and depression in children and their families and facilitate their healing process.