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Exploring the Benefits of Massage Therapy for Youth and Adolescents

Shinya Nasu, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist


benefits of massage therapy

In a fast-paced world filled with academic pressures, extracurricular activities, and the challenges of adolescence, the importance of self-care for youth cannot be overstated. While massage therapy has long been associated with relaxation and stress relief for adults, its benefits for youth and adolescents are often overlooked. This blog entry aims to shed light on the positive impacts of massage therapy on the physical and mental well-being of young individuals, supported by relevant references.

 

Physical Well-being

 

Muscle Tension and Pain Reduction:

Massage therapy has been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension and alleviate pain. A study by Jones and Kolt in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine (2016) demonstrated that regular massage sessions can significantly decrease muscle soreness in adolescents involved in sports activities.

 

Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion:

Research published in the Journal of Pediatric Physical Therapy (Field et al., 2018) suggests that massage therapy can contribute to enhanced flexibility and increased range of motion in young individuals, promoting better physical performance.

 

Mental Well-being

 

Stress and Anxiety Reduction:

The adolescent years can be challenging, with academic pressures and social dynamics causing stress and anxiety. A study by Diego et al. (2004) in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that massage therapy can lead to a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels, providing relief from anxiety.

 

Improved Sleep Quality:

In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Field et al., 2017), massage therapy was linked to improved sleep quality in adolescents. Quality sleep is crucial for cognitive functioning and emotional well-being in young individuals.

 

Emotional Well-being

 

Enhanced Mood and Well-being:

Research conducted by Kutner et al. (2008) and published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork suggests that massage therapy can contribute to improved mood and overall emotional well-being in youth and adolescents.

 

Conclusion

Massage therapy is not just a luxury reserved for adults; it can be a valuable tool for promoting the well-being of youth and adolescents. The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of massage contribute to a holistic approach to health for young individuals navigating the challenges of adolescence. As with any health-related practice, it's essential to consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating massage therapy into a youth's routine.

 

 

References:

1. Jones, M., & Kolt, G. S. (2016). Benefits of Immediate Massage on Post-Exercise Recovery of Muscle Function: A Systematic Review. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 15(2), 343–352.

2. Field, T., Diego, M., & Sanders, C. (2018). Exercise and Massage Effects on Pediatric Migraine. Journal of Pediatric Physical Therapy, 30(6), 414–419.

3. Diego, M. A., Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Shaw, J. A., Rothe, E. M., & Castellanos, D. (2004). Aggressive Adolescents Benefit from Massage Therapy. International Journal of Neuroscience, 114(10), 1397–1413.

4. Field, T., Diego, M., & Hernandez-Reif, M. (2017). Sleep Problems of Adolescents: A Pilot Study of the Efficacy of a Massage with Oils on Sleep Disturbances. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2(5), 1–5.

5. Kutner, J. S., Smith, M. C., Corbin, L., Hemphill, L., Benton, K., Mellis, B. K., & Beaty, B. (2008). Massage Therapy versus Simple Touch to Improve Pain and Mood in Patients with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 149(6), 369–379.

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