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    Massage Therapy and ADHD in Children

    Have you or your child ever felt distracted, anxious, or impatient? Do you have a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Did you know that massage therapy has been proven to help de-stress their mind and body and improve their emotions?

    ADHD is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the child’s or adolescent’s attention span and concentration. There are three types of ADHD: predominately inattentive, predominately hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type.

    A study by Khilnani, S. et al. examined the effect of massage therapy on paediatric patients with ADHD. Thirty students aged 7 to 18 diagnosed with ADHD were assigned to receive massage treatment for 20 minutes twice weekly for one month. The results revealed that the students gained more happiness and saw a reduction in fidgeting, feelings of depression and anxiety.

    5 ways that therapeutic massage can de-stress a child with ADHD:

    1. Improves sleep productivity, relaxation, and social anxiety
    2. Reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helps the active fight-flight response, and increases the rest and digest response to ease your child mentally and physically
    3. Eliminates pain/discomfort, improves joint mobility, reduces muscle tension, and increases relaxation and blood flow throughout the body
    4. Provides a safe, quiet and nurturing space for your child
    5. Improves social functioning and focus at home and school

    Incorporating massage therapy into your child’s routine once a week may promote improved focus and confidence while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition, receiving massage therapy can positively impact relationships, such as with teachers, peers, friends, and family members.


    1. https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder
    2. https://www.rmtao.com/massage-therapy/benefits-of-massage-therapy
    3. Khilnani, S. et al. Massage therapy improves mood and behavior of students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adolescence. February 2003; 38(152):623-38.

    About Jessica Nghiem

    Jessica has been practicing massage therapy for over five years and is a graduate from Everest College. Her first year working in the field involved treating a variety of clientele such as neurological, athletes, motor vehicle accidents, elderly, prenatal and postnatal. She has also worked in various clinics alongside chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, medical doctors, kinesiotherapists, occupational therapists, naturopaths. Jessica loves learning different massage techniques to use in her practice. Some of the techniques that she often uses include Swedish, deep tissue/sports massage, myofascial, trigger point therapy and stretch therapy. Jessica has a certificate in Infant Massage as she enjoys working with children, teaching her patience and discipline. In addition to school age and adolescent children, she has over two years of experience working with infants and toddlers specifically. Jessica has also taken a course in Canine and Feline Massage. Some of her hobbies include spending time with her family and friends. She loves to eat and try different kinds of cuisines. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, travelling and binge-watching TV shows and movies.