Caring Touch Massage
There's nothing better for any child than the loving, caring touch of a parent. It may be more than a gentle touch or squeeze of the hand but it tells the child they are special. A simple stroke on the cheek lets a child know they are loved and cared for. When they fall over we reach out and rub their knee better, or cuddle them in our arms. These are the every day form of touch we instinctually use with our children - and they thrive on it.
Reseach has shown that massage can help children's growth, both physically and emotionally. In the hospitals, premature babies show that touch, even the touch of a single finger, can make a difference in their health. It is evident children need a caring touch.
There can be no better way to promote health in your child than to give them regular massages, and you don't need to take a two-year course to learn how to do it. You don't need to use any deep-tissue massage techniques, just use very gentle stroking movements. Even with a light touch massage, always move your hand around your child's body, in the direction towards the heart, because it's the way the blood flows.
All this means in practical terms is that your hands need to work from wrist to shoulder, and ankle to thigh. On the body, again work towards the heart. Good areas to massage are the back, upper abdomen, legs, feet, arms, and hands. Essential oils are a bonus when it comes to massage. They provide great fragrances, they're natural and healthy, and can uplift the spirit. To make a massage oil, all you need is a clean, empty one ounce bottle, the carrier oil, and your essential oils. Use the following amount of essential oil, depending on the age of your child, in one ounce of vegetable carrier oil - almond is the best.
Dilute in 1 Ounce (30ml.) of Vegetable Oil
|2-6 months||0-1 drop|
|6-12 months||1-2 drops|
|1-4 years||1-5 drops|
|5-7 years||3-6 drops|
|8-12 drops||5-10 drops|
- From this mix you take the appropriate number of essential oil drops you need and put them in the almond or other carrier oil. I find the best way to blend the essential oil and carrier oil together, is to roll the bottle between the palms of your hands. Here are a few blends that will give pleasure to both you and your child.
Mix the essential oils together. Use the correct number of drops for your child's age group, diluted in the almond oil
|Sleepy time||4 drops lavender||2 drops camomile roman|
|Refreshing||3 drops lemon||2 drops petitgrain|
|Angelic||3 drops rose otto||2 drops neroli|
|Flowery||4 drops mandarin||2 drops geranium|
|Calming||2 drops petitgrain||3 drops neroli|
You could use a single oil of your choice or a blend. When using a single oil all you have to do is put the essential oil drop s into the bottle of almond oil. When making blends, you have to mix the essential oils together first, to get the blend right. From this mix you take the appropriate number of essential oil drops you need and put them in the almond or other carrier oil.
I find the best way to blend the essential oil and carrier oil together, is to roll the bottle between the palms of your hands. Here are a few blends that will give pleasure to both you and your child.
The Caring Touch Massage has an additional bonus - aromatic bonding. The aroma you choose to use during the massage of your child will be associated in your child's mind with times spent being relaxed and having a special time with their parent. The more regular your massages, the stronger the association will be.
If your child smells the same aroma in another context, away from the place of massage, they will be reminded of the massage and the emotions that went with it - comfort, reassurance, and relaxation. This is an aromatic bond between you and your child, something that reminds your child of you, and you of your child.
This aromatic bonding can also be used to comfort small children, especially one separated form their parents, on the first day of starting kindergarten, for example. There are many times when small children have to be separated from their parents unwillingly and they can feel unsecure and even afraid.
To help ease the discomfort of separation, the aromatic link between parents and child can be used. Take a little smear of the same essential oil you use in your caring touch massage oil, and dab on a tissue or a cotton handkerchief, for your child to smell during the day.
If your child is very young, the caretaker could just hold the tissue briefly under your child's nose. The aroma should remind your child of you and give some comfort and reassurance. The message of the massage lives on.
Reference: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: Valerie Ann Worwood
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