Teenagers begin to look like adults but they are not yet adults in many ways. While adults may look at teens and picture a fun time with many less cares and responsibilities, that is usually not a realistic picture. Teens can benefit from massage for the same reasons adults do, along with many other reasons that are unique to them or accentuated during this time.
Their bodies are still changing. As bones and muscles grow there is a major adjustment in all they do, from simple things like walking and posture to running and other active movements. Physical changes can cause things to get out of whack. Massage helps to bring the body back into balance.
They have body issues. They are pressured from media and society to look a certain way. Some sports and activities place a high value on being lean. Massage helps all people deal with their body issues and lets them feel more comfortable with themselves. Massage therapists make observations about bodies but not judgments. We assess stress or pain issues and communicate with each person about what they want so they walk out feeling great.
They are very active. Their life can include many or all of the following – school, study, work, sports or other after school activities, and social time. Looking at that list can make a person tired. They go and go and cram a lot into a day. They may lug a heavy backpack around all day. The serious athletes will devote much of the year to one or more sport, training and practicing for the next season. Because their bodies are still developing and changing, they can be more susceptible to injury and overuse. From their lack of experience, they may not recognize warning signs of potential problems.
Trying to juggle all of these can be a big source of stress. Later in high school they may also be thinking of college, their future, and the career they want to pursue. They may be studying and preparing for college prep tests, visiting colleges, and looking for and applying for scholarships.
They have a high degree of social stress. They have to manage expectations and pressure from family, coaches, employers, school and friends while they are still trying to figure out who they are and how they want to live.
The life of a teen is one of constant change. They deal with a lot of the same stress as adults but don’t have the experience and tools adults use to make wise decisions and manage it. Do a teen a favor and suggest they get a massage, or better yet give them a gift certificate. They will be most grateful.
Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio. Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com