Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

Looking for a specific blog topic?  Search here:

Massage for Kids


Benefits of massage for children are fairly similar to the benefits for adults. Routine massages help children of all ages grow into balanced and well-rounded adults. We know that touch stimulates the body in positive ways and help a person with mental and physical development and growth.


Ages 0-4

Infant/ toddler massage sessions should only last for 15 minutes at the most because of their small attention spans. A child can become irritated if the massage lasts longer than the 15 minutes. You can use either baby oil or coconut oil; a substance or oil that is safe to use on the child’s skin. A general rule is if it is safe to be ingested it can be used. Infant massage should be given by a parent or guardian.


For stable premature infants massage can:

  • Help infants gain weight.

  • Cuddling and massage releases the growth hormones which help with development of the brain and other vital organs.


Ages 5-10

Massage duration should be probably still be anywhere from 15 -30 minutes.


Ages 11-18

This age group can usually tolerate a full 50-60 minute massage.


General Benefits of Massage for kids at any age:

  • Kids who experience hyperactivity disorders or other psychiatric issues benefit greatly from massage.

  • Improves sleep and mood

  • Stimulates motor development, eases tension and pain (highly recommended for children with Autism or Down Syndrome)

  • Stimulates cognitive development; increase alertness, speed, and accuracy

  • Decreases stress hormone levels as well as blood glucose levels. Decreasing stress gives the adrenal system a break and boosts the immune system. This is very beneficial for children with cancer. Boosting the immune system allows the body to fight off pathogens, viruses, microbes, and bacteria.

  • Beneficial for kids with diabetes and asthma

  • Improve muscle tone

  • Skin and arthritic conditions such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)

  • Children prone to bulimia find that massage helps decrease their anxiety and depression which are linked to their disease. This also can help promote self-esteem and body image when kids grow into adults.


I highly recommend the Gaiam’s Infant Massage DVD for all new parents or parents/guardians that are interested in giving their infant a massage. The DVD is an easy guide for infant massage such as what types of oil to use, helpful advice, as well as step by step visual aid on infant massage.