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  • Writer's pictureEmily Manchester

Healing Touch for Children & Babies

Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch are both widely used in pediatric hospitals and often used as complementary therapies to decrease stress, anxiety and pain and to increase relaxation and feelings of well-being. Healing touch is non-invasive and is very gentle, and because of this, can be used on children and even on babies still in the womb. Babies and small children in particular are very receptive to healing methods associated with energy because they are so sensitive.

A diagnosis of a life-threatening or severe illness in a child can be a very stressful life event that can have effects on the well-being of the child, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, as well as having similar effects on close family members. Particularly in oncology or with cancer patients (as discussed previously here (link to cancer blog), patients often experience pain, anxiety, stress and fatigue as a result of treatments and complications of therapies. These effects are often even more pronounced in children and therefore the positive effects that healing touch can have in these children is greater. Many studies have shown that healing touch can help reduce some of these side effects that reduce quality of life so dramatically.

Children with chronic diseases also have a decreased sense of well-being and quality of life and for these children, healing touch can help reduce symptoms and let them live a more normal life. Researchers have found that even just 15 minutes of massage or healing touch a day can help keep a diabetic child's glucose levels in the normal range, and in asthmatic children it can help improve pulmonary function and decrease symptoms.

There are also people who carry out healing touch in babies, these techniques were specifically created to address the needs of a baby right from conception, through the birthing process, into infancy and until they are one year old. There are many studies that indicate that stress reduction and relaxation techniques in mom’s-to-be can be very beneficial for their baby, allowing her to provide the best atmosphere for her baby’s overall well-being, growth and development.

Healing Touch for babies can also be used, with great success, when a baby has experienced a traumatic birth or complications early in life, allowing for faster recovery.

Research has also shown that mothers who carry their babies with them on their back or strapped to their front tend to have babies which are much calmer and cry less as it’s thought the mother and baby are better able to communicate through touch. All touch therapies applied to the child by any caregiver remain the optimum way to calm and soothe the ailing and/or restless child.

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