It's hard to understand the effect this time is having on kids - the masks in school, the cancelled birthday parties, that they can't hug their granny. And then there's the uncertainty...
While we can help them process by explaining as best we can, our own explanations are laced with our own uncertainty, and all of that uncertainty is stored bodily. If we don't want them holding onto this time in their muscles, we can massage it away.
It is empowering to feel that there is something that we can do that all science says helps all systems in the body - including and especially the nervous system.
You don't have to know a whole lot to do it but some caveats are:
- Never on broken skin or any inflammation
- Never where you child doesn't want to be massaged (here, just try resting hands, if that's welcomed - but respect boundaries)
- Don't do tummies within an hour of eating
How to do it?
- Start with the back and do broad sweeping strokes.
- Massage along any muscles, feel for knots, make your child aware of them but don't go to deep on them
- Avoid the spine itself - but massaging up both sides of the spine is great.
- Try some chopping - kids love that!
- Do the limbs - again moving instinctively a 'wringing' motion is great here.
- For the chest, its similar to the back - massaging here helps to improve circulation to and so performance of the respiratory system
- Tap reasonably simply on the sternum - this will stimulate the thymus gland (situated right behind it) which is the immune system's surveillance gland
What are some benefits?
Every single system in the body is stimulated by and nourished by massage. Our oils are packed with benefits - and there's no better way to deliver them (Muscle Soothe is great for this time of year).
Massage is great for the lymphatic system which will keep the immune system working at its optimal, this is crucial right now.
And most importantly, the feel-good chemicals released by pressure on the skin will help make up for not being allowed to hug their Granny (nothing beats a hug from Granny, but this does help!)
Give it a try!