Massage therapy for children – what is it and how does it work?
What is massage therapy for children?
Massage therapy is an example of a patterned, repetitive somatosensory activity that has been shown to lead to positive improvements for children who have suffered trauma, abuse and/or neglect. Trauma may come in many forms including hospitalisation, experiencing physical and verbal abuse, witnessing traumatic events and traumatic natural events. These experiences can shape a child’s development, and have consequences that last for years beyond the actual event, as the impacts of child abuse and trauma can be far greater than its immediate effects.
How does massage therapy work?
Infant massage has long been a common practice in families of Eastern and African cultures. Many indigenous tribes use some form of bodywork to soothe, relax and heal their little ones, sometimes including scented oils and herbal remedies as part of the experience. Massage therapy and touch therapy offers a sense of healthy touch and a healthy sense of self that is not just about working sore muscles and relieving tension. Massage therapy is a simple approach for working with people who’ve forgotten what it means to be in the here and now; people who’ve forgotten what it feels like to feels like to ‘feel’.
The Wishing Well foundation
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.
Support the Wishing Well
The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW. Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis. The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:
- Funding availability
- The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
- The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
- Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information: