For children and teens, Reflexology has the same benefits as for adults. The calming effect of a treatment may help if a child is experiencing a stressful period in their life. For example, this might be due to changes in family life, a change in school or during exams. In addition, it can help with hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and even peer pressure.
Children’s stress often shows through physical symptoms. For example, they may have muscle or joint pain, headaches, migraine or digestive problems. They may also have behaviour difficulties.
Reflexology for very young children is best in small doses – they don’t often enjoy a long session. So, I recommend their treatment happens during a session booked for mum or dad.
Little ones can struggle with digestion/wind problems, sniffs and snuffles, to say nothing of teething pain, and sleep problems. In addition they can also be stressed by changes in their environment. These changes could be:
- potty training
- coping with a new sibling
- loss of a pet
- moving house.
They can show stress by changes to normal behaviour. For example they may start or increase thumb sucking, nail biting, disrupted sleep.
Reflexology may help to calm your young child and improve their symptoms. A Danish study found that reflexology helped reduce crying in colicky babies.
Reflexology for toddlers is a short, fun, interactive session. I use gentle pressure. Consequently, they normally relax quite quickly and enjoy the treatment.
Primary school age children experience huge changes. They need to not only fit in with a school culture, but also learn about new relationships and friendships. Even family dynamics change. All these can result in anxiety for a child. This can show in growing pains, tummy aches, and headaches. Reflexology can help relieve anxiety and help your child deal with it more effectively.
Reflexology can help your child relax. They can let go of stress and unwind in a calm, welcoming space. They can even bring a favourite toy for reassurance. Furthermore, I can show your child reflexology points on the hands or face that they can use for themselves.
Neck problems are now common in children and teenagers. This may be due to poor posture when studying and from playing computers games or mobile phone usage. Reflexology can help to relieve the muscular tension from these activities.
Sleep research shows that teenagers need on average 9-10 hours of sleep a night. At this age, their brains are going through an enormous shift, and sleep is especially important. Yet there seem to be a million reasons why they can’t get enough sleep. These can be:
- hormonal changes,
- after school activities,
- social media,
- light exposure from electronics,
- an over-aroused brain
- sleep disorders
These can results in concentration difficulties, mood swings, short attention span, lack of enthusiasm, depression, or clumsiness, for instance. They can also affect academic performance, or enjoyment of hobbies.
Regular reflexology sessions aid sleep, helping to promote a deeper and more regular sleep pattern.
Hormones change during the teenage years. These can often bring acne, mood swings, menstrual difficulties and headaches as a result. Reflexology can help to rebalance the Endocrine system. This helps to manage and regulate these hormonal imbalances.
In addition to these normal changes, stress and anxiety is now a large part of teenage lives. This may be peer pressure, social media demands, expectations for academic success, or worries about current affairs. These external pressures combine with internal changes – and your child can feel in a very lonely place.
Regular reflexology can help in two ways. First, it can help avoid the build-up of stress and anxieties. Second, it can help manage it when levels are at a peak. Treatments help teens unwind and switch off. Importantly, it gives them an opportunity to recharge their batteries. Introducing your teenager to reflexology can encourage them to take an active role in their own well-being. Moreover, they will be able to carry this into adult life.
Reflexology for children under 16 will only be carried out with parent’s consent. A parent must be present while the treatment is taking place.