I’m writing this after a night when I was awakened by my 2-year-old at 4:00 a.m. He was pointing to his legs and saying, “Ow! Ow!” His first growing pains were here.
The childhood leg aches we call “growing pains” are normal, though nobody knows exactly why they happen. The massage therapist in me feels it may be a little inflammation cycle that kids experience after a hard day of play or athletics. I experienced growing pains periodically throughout my adolescence and remember how my legs ached and my joints throbbed. At times, the aches were so intense I was sure I had some sort of disease. “Is there such a thing as a leg-falling-off disease?” I asked my mother.
Little did I know that massage could help soothe these pains, or that someday I would use it to soothe my own son.
“I’m Happy, Mama”
Learning infant massage has continued to be useful past my child’s infancy. I credit it with decreasing the length of my hospital stay for my firstborn, and since then, infant massage strokes have helped with childhood tummy aches, chest and sinus congestion, school-day jitters, and more.
At 4:00 a.m., I put on my robe and gently ease my son’s legs from his PJs. I cover the rest of his body with his favorite blanket and then warm lotion between my hands. As my touch meets his pain, he sighs and says, “I’m happy, Mama.”
I use the strokes I learned in an infant massage workshop. I follow my intuition and get to the deeper muscle fibers. Before I’m finished with the first leg, my baby boy is nearly asleep, but still conscious enough to tell me how the touch feels. As I start on his other leg, he has fallen into a light sleep. His breathing turns into a soft snore as I finish the massage. It only took 25 minutes, but our experience felt longer, sweeter.
Gina Michelle is a registered massage therapist of 13 years and former instructor at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy and Denver School of Massage Therapy.
with Kate Jordan
Friday – Monday, November 13-16, 2015
$695 ($200 deposit)