Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2013

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Helping Traumatized Children Create a Friendly Environment No Rush. Let the child take the time she needs to get comfortable. Clothes On? No Problem. Consider providing touch therapy over clothing or using a cloth item between your hands and the client's skin. Do not give a choice of removing clothing at the first session. Speak the Language. Explain what will happen during the massage in terms the child will understand. Use Code. Give the child phrases or code words to use during the massage in place of "yes," "no," and "stop." Thumbs up and thumbs down also work well. Choices. Begin where the child welcomes massage and nurturing touch. Ask questions to give the child control. violence; neglect; grief; divorce; and the death of a loved one. Following is a closer look at some of these events. Hospitalization According to the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, The Children's Hospital Philadelphia, childhood injuries and illnesses are common, with five out of 100 American children being hospitalized for a major acute or chronic illness, injury, or disability each year.2 Traumatic pediatric medical stress refers to reactions that children and their families may have to injury, pain, and serious illness, or to invasive medical procedures and treatments. These events challenge beliefs about the world as a safe place, and they are harsh reminders of one's own vulnerability. Some children may have a fear of high-tech, intense medical treatment. Often, the child or parent may feel helpless, especially when there is uncertainty about the treatment course and outcome. Children and their families may become anxious, irritable, or on edge, and children may have unwanted thoughts or nightmares about the illness, injury, or hospital. Some will try to find ways to avoid going to the doctor or the hospital and may lose interest in being with friends and family or in things they used to enjoy. They may show decreased performance at school and have difficulty in social situations or at home. Abuse There are more than 3 million reports of child abuse each year, and a new report is made every 10 seconds.3 With these abuse rates "When I was 5, my father hurt me, and I didn't want to feel close to anyone. I was shy 62 massage & bodywork september/october 2013

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