Can we create more connection as massage therapists?

Can Massage Therapy help today’s students cope with the current COVID restrictions?

by Jennifer Stuart

Junior high and high schoolers are missing out on normal & necessary experiences. This and the reduction in their face-to-face connections with friends may have a significant effect on their development and mental health.  Massage Therapy may be able to provide some relief and connection they are currently lacking.

Today’s teens are navigating their world during a global pandemic full of uncertainty, instability, constant change, tons of screen-time, and LESS CONNECTION than ever before.  I listened to an interview with 3 Canadian high-school students talking about their struggles.  These were intelligent, well-spoken young people – those who would likely be at the tops of their classes, great athletes, musicians, or academics – and they were struggling.  They spoke of depression, overwhelm, and concern for themselves and their peers.  The word CONNECTION came up more than any other.

In massage therapy education, we talk about touch and the importance of human connection.  As a community of massage therapists, can we reach this population in obvious need and offer assistance?  Treatment with therapeutic, relaxation massage (yes, relaxation massage is therapeutic) can get teens out of their heads, away from their screens, and in touch with their bodies.  This idea of massage for teens may be one step towards a healthier future for our young people.

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