Massage for Kids: Benefits and Considerations

Massage therapist doing massage for little black girl

When we think of massage, it's often associated with adults seeking relaxation and relief from the stresses of daily life. However, just like the stresses of daily life aren’t exclusive to adults, nor is massage therapy limited to grown-ups. In fact, a kid’s massage can be a valuable and nurturing experience for children, aiding in relaxation, stress prevention, and even offering relief for growing pains. 

In the following article, we’re going to take a look at what a massage for kids might entail, answering questions about when it's appropriate, the benefits it offers, and providing tips for a successful kids' massage appointment. Let’s dive in!

What Age Can a Child Have a Massage?

Massage therapy for children is a gentle and safe practice, but it's essential to consider the child's age and developmental stage. Generally, children as young as a few months old can receive massages, but the approach may vary:

Infants and Babies

Babies as young as a few weeks old can benefit from gentle massage techniques, but it’s usually parents or caregivers who’d perform it. Parents can learn to perform infant massage to soothe and bond with their babies, especially those who might have trouble sleeping through the night. 

Toddlers and Preschoolers

As children grow, they can continue to receive massages from their parents, with the approach adjusted to their age and comfort level. Children in this age group may benefit from massages to relax, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep.

School-Aged Children

Older children can also benefit from massage therapy, especially if they are involved in sports or physical activities. Massage can help with muscle soreness, flexibility, and overall relaxation. While they could technically go visit a professional massage spa for a massage, some children might be reluctant to be massaged by a stranger, so it’s important to let them voice their concerns if they might have any.


Teenagers are an ideal candidate for massage therapy; whether they’re experiencing stress, anxiety, or physical discomfort due to growth spurts or sports-related activities, they may be able to find relief through massage therapy. 

Is Massage Therapy for Kids Beneficial?

Absolutely! Massage therapy for kids offers a range of benefits that can support their physical and emotional well-being, just in the same way it can help adults. Here are four key advantages for children and teenagers:

Stress Reduction

Just like adults, children can experience stress and anxiety, and massage can provide a calming and soothing experience that can help reduce stress levels. This can be particularly beneficial for children facing academic pressures, social challenges, or emotional turmoil (for example, if their parents are going through a divorce).

Improved Sleep

Massage is scientifically proven to help improve sleep quality, and many parents may find that regular massages can help their children sleep better. Studies have consistently shown that relaxation induced by massage can lead to more restful and uninterrupted REM sleep, which is vital for a child’s (or a teenager’s) development and overall health.

Enhanced Physical Health

Massage can also aid in muscle relaxation, flexibility, and circulation, making it beneficial for active children and teenagers involved in sports or physical activities. It can also support growing bodies by addressing discomfort related to rapid growth, offering relief for those famous “growing pains!”

Emotional Well-being

Finally, massage therapy can also help children connect with their bodies, increase body awareness, and develop a positive relationship with touch, as well as consent and boundaries. While this is mostly a secondary benefit to massage, it can still positively contribute to a child’s self-esteem, communication skills and emotional resilience.

Tips for a Successful Kids' Massage Appointment

Ensuring a positive and successful kids' massage appointment requires careful planning and consideration, especially if your child is under 16. Here are some tips to make the experience enjoyable and beneficial for your child:

Stay Present

During the massage, stay in the room with your child, especially if they are younger. Your presence can provide reassurance and comfort, and is also essential for their safety. If you want to further put them at ease, you could even opt for a massage yourself; at Spa Theory, we offer the best mobile couples massage for friends, couples, or even parents and children to enjoy together. 

Choose a Qualified Therapist

When seeking massage therapy for your child, it's essential to select a licensed and experienced massage therapist who specializes in working with children. Ideally, look for a practitioner who has received training in pediatric massage.

Open Communication

Talk to your child about the massage appointment in a positive and age-appropriate manner, and explain that it's a gentle and relaxing experience to help them feel better and more relaxed. They might want to speak with the massage therapist first, which can help break the ice and ease any anxiety they may have about the process.

Consent and Comfort

Always prioritize your child's comfort and consent by letting them know that they can stop or pause the massage at any time if they feel uncomfortable. Encourage them to communicate their preferences during the session. 

Age-Appropriate Techniques

The massage therapist will use age-appropriate techniques tailored to your child's developmental stage. For infants and babies, gentle strokes and soothing touch are used. Older children may receive more focused and specific massages. And if your child is interested in the concept but doesn’t want to undress in front of a stranger, why not suggest a simple scalp massage? The benefits of scalp massage are scientifically proven, and it’s a great way to introduce the concept of massage to your child without them having to tackle any embarrassment they have about having to lie on the massage table. 

Feedback and Communication

After the session, talk to your child about how they felt during the massage; encourage them to share any sensations or emotions they experienced. This open communication can help them process the experience, and lets them know that their feelings and opinions are valid. 


Is massage therapy safe for children?

Yes, massage therapy is generally safe for children when performed by a qualified therapist who specializes in pediatric massage. It is essential to communicate any medical conditions or concerns with the therapist before the session.

How long should a kids' massage session last?

The duration of a kids' massage session can vary depending on the child's age and comfort level. Sessions typically range from 15 to 30 minutes for younger children and may extend to 60 minutes for teenagers.

Are there any contraindications for kids' massage?

Massage therapy may not be suitable for children with certain medical conditions, such as skin infections, open wounds, or certain chronic illnesses. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional and the massage therapist to ensure it's safe for your child.


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