My reflexology and massage clients range in age from their thirties to seventies at Head To Therapies, but through public awareness I’m delighted to be seeing an increasing demand for massage for teenage clients! Adults generally come for many reasons as well as general maintenance. Teenagers, too, will usually book a treatment for pain relief, but at this young age, they can more easily correct habits causing their pain, before they become long-term, debilitating issues. Working on teenagers allows me the opportunity to help educate, relax, and unwind their muscles and minds, as a preventative self care method as they move forward in life. Teens are subjected to a multitude of physical and emotional demands in our society, making massage a wonderful technique to help them relax.
The physiological and hormonal changes of adolescence are incredibly demanding on the body and mind. Add to that some of the extremely demanding and admirable athletic activities that many kids are involved in, and we can have some very tight muscles! Massage can help ease the stress put on the musculature, tendons, and ligaments by rapidly growing bones, through lengthening, stretching, and encouraging circulation to these soft tissues.
Mental and emotional stress of adolescence is significant, and all too apparent in modern society. Anxiety in teenagers is a common complaint, causing them to feel generally tense and unable to relax. While “anxiety disorder” can be a serious mental health condition, generalized anxiety and worry over grades, peer groups, college, competitive sports, testing, dating and family conflicts, can be nerve wracking, and all too common in our highly competitive society. A relaxing massage session can truly allow teens to let go of their worries and have a screen-free hour or so, of truly complete physical and mental relaxation.
Phones, screen-time, desk-time, homework, and heavy backpacks wreak havoc on the developing teenage body as well! We all do it, for too many hours each day: straining forward to text, type, read emails, and do deskwork, with neck and shoulders forward; but teens do it more, and likely in the most posturally inefficient ways, slumped on the couch or hunched over a small desk. The burden of technology and schoolwork leads to forward head posture, straining the neck musclulature and all that attach to, and support it, and can cause tremendous associated tension, including headaches.
Standard massage practices may seem uncomfortably intimate to some teenagers, so special considerations are taken into account; fully clothed massage is not uncommon. Dialogue is kept open during sessions, encouraging feedback, and a lighter than usual touch is often adopted. The physical and emotional comfort of the client is the most important component, enabling relaxation and release to be achieved. Parental consent for children under 18 is required. Massage can be an amazing component of self- care for young and old alike.
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