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Jun 10, 2011

A Different Kind of Bedtime Story | Encourage Healthy Growth and Development Through Pediatric Massage Therapy

Pediatric Massage Master Teacher Tina Allen rolled into NHI’s San Jose campus recently to talk about the value of massage for infants and children. Allen, the founder of Liddle Kidz Foundation travels North America with her husband and young son in a customized tour bus giving workshops and presentations about the benefits of touch therapy for the youngest among us. Although massage is often still seen by the general public as an annual luxury or first aid for a sore back after a weeketnd of cleaning up the yard, it can also support healthy, well children in the normal process of growth and development, as well little ones who are struggling with complex medical conditions. And Tina Allen should know: She managed the United States’ first comprehensive pediatric massage program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and recently consulted on the development of a comprehensive pediatric massage therapy program at The Mayo Clinic.

A fun way Tina shared of introducing massage to children is through massage stories. Using a combination of light strokes such as hand glides, palm circles, finger taps, and cupping, she guided the group of 30+ San Jose students, staff, and faculty through a familiar story: the change of weather from a bright sunny day to one with lots of snow. It even included a guest appearance by a pair of cats on the top of a chimney! Ms. Allen encouraged NHI students to develop their own massage stories and to try them out on the children in their lives. Whether it’s a massage story about making a pizza, planting a garden or taking a swim in the ocean, it’s Tina Allen’s conviction that children who have a positive experience with healthy touch early on in their lives will grow up to be peaceful leaders in the world. Tina feels so strongly about this vision that she organizes, trains, and leads volunteers on trips to orphanages abroad. Previous sites included Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, with Ghana slated for later this year. She is also a certified trainer of Peaceful Touch.