Kids and ADHD: 5 Ways Massage May Offer Some Relief

massage therapy programDid you know that a simple massage can offer many rewards for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

The Globe University-Madison East massage therapy program recently hosted an informational session on how massage may benefit children with ADHD.

During the hour-long session, massage therapist students shared research on this topic as well as massage techniques.  Below are five benefits massage can offer to those who struggle with ADHD.

 Benefits of Regular Massage for ADHD

  1. May encourage more restful sleep
  2. May help with anger control
  3. May improve mood
  4. May improve social functioning
  5. May improve focus at school

As the benefits were explained, people in the room got a little more excited as they connected with some of these daily struggles. They also learned how to set up their home so they could integrate simple massage techniques to help their kids cope with ADHD.

Massage Set Up

  • Schedule a time for massage like you would any appointment
  • Find a cozy atmosphere with a comfortable chair or bed available
  • Purchase a good quality organic oil like safflower or grapeseed oil
  • Play relaxing music that your “client” will enjoy and also soothe them
  • Have water for both you and your client or perhaps a hot chamomile tea to share upon completion
  • Create a ritual so you have regular appointments scheduled for you and your client

ADHD and Massage Therapy

Then it is time for the massage. The first massage may be short, about five minutes. The timing may grow as your child gets accustomed to the massages, up to 20 minutes. It is often great to do the massage right around bed time to help with sleep.

The techniques you use should be gentle and slow. When warming up the tissue use full hand contact, as it is much more comforting. Other strokes you can use are compressions, grasping (think like a kitten is pawing you), thumb circles which feel great on the palms and feet, and feathering, which is just a gentle fingertip stroke. After your session has ended you could share a cup of tea or perhaps your client will take a warm bath to continue the relaxation process.

At the end of the session, each of the guests were excited about what they learned. They couldn’t wait to try the different techniques on their “client” with ADHD. It was a great learning session for all.

Written By: Robin Rinehart, Massage Therapy Program Chair at Globe University-Madison East