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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Easter

Why Massage Can Help Children with ADHD

Massages- a special treat on a weekend getaway, after a rough day at work or for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Massages are also a treatment option for those suffering from back problems, chronic pain or other physical conditions.

Massages are also used to help reduce stress and reduce symptoms for those experiencing mental health conditions (anxiety, depression etc.) as well. Going to a massage appointment is a mind treatment as well as a body treatment and its positive effects go deeper than just a 45 minute relaxation period. Massages have been found to decrease depression, worrying and ADHD symptoms.

How massages help

1 In many mental health conditions, there is a lack of serotonin and dopamine levels and massages have been found to increase these neurotransmitters. This allows an individual with ADHD to feel more regulated, focused and less hyperactive. 

This increase in serotonin and dopamine helps produce the calming feeling one experiences after a massage session.

2. Massages also lower heart and blood pressure, relax muscles and increase endorphins. Massages just provide that all around mood boost and let you feel your absolute best! 

3. Massages improve mood and reduce stress levels. In one study, the stress hormone cortisol was measured before and after people received a massage session. After the massage, cortisol levels were found to be lowered by up to 53%. 

Why Massage for ADHD

People with ADHD are said to experience a “sensory deprivation”. People, especially children with ADHD, can have a short fuse, be hyperactive and desperately need physical sensations. This can include playing intense video games, needing rubs or liking very hot or very cold showers/ tubs.

These individuals, have this built up energy that needs some way to be released. When this energy is kept inside and bottled up, that is when it is hard to focus and concentrate.

Keeping this energy inside can cause someone to be angry, and irritable.

During a massage therapy session, this energy is being used and the person is getting the physical stimulation they need.

Research Support

Clinical trials which investigated the effects of massage therapy have all shown positive results about the treatment option. Massage therapy has successfully decreased fidgeting and increased serotonin levels in children with ADHD. Also, children who received daily massages (15-20 minutes) all rated the experience as positive and had a reduction in ADHD symptoms.

In one study, younger boys with ADHD were given daily massage treatments and their teachers rated them as less fidgety and more focused.

Try it out… what’s to lose?

There are many types of treatment options available for ADHD which include medicine, psychotherapy, and behavioral interventions. Massage therapy provides sensory support and allows the body to use this pent up energy and relax muscles.

Massage therapy is an enjoyable and relaxing experience for both children and adults and is gaining more and more support as a treatment optoin. Try out massage therapy– you could reduce your ADHD symptoms while relaxing and de-stressing 🙂

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Juliette Easter
Juliette Easter
Oct 12, 2019

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