From the MASSAGE Magazine article titled, “Massage for Healthy Children,” by Marybetts Sinclair, in the October 2008 issue. Article summary: Many problems that cause suffering in adults can be resolved far more easily when the problem first arises in early life. In this sense, massaging children is truly preventive medicine.

The seven keys to developing a pediatric massage practice are:

1. Receive special training in massage for children.

2. Use word-of-mouth. Tell all your friends and clients that you are interested in working with children. Many of them may not have known that children can benefit from massage, but almost everyone knows a child who is undergoing high levels of stress, has some type of disability, is part of a sports team or has musculoskeletal pain.
You can develop your own special massage services for children, such as massage therapist Clare Caldwell has done. She offers special massages especially for children, such as her “Sneakers Squeekers” foot massage and “Skateboard Helmet” upper body massage.
3. Volunteer to teach parents through public programs such as the WIC program, special-education programs at local schools, and through local support groups for teen parents, parents of children with disabilities or children with mental- health challenges.

4. Offer to give demonstrations for local agencies that work with children, such as therapy centers for children with special needs.

5. Offer to give demonstrations at health fairs or summer camps.

6. Contact local children’s sports teams about providing massage for their young athletes.

7. Gain experience working with children at local spas. Many spas offer massage to children and teens.

—Marybetts Sinclair