By Alex Beck-Brandl

SONY DSCStress and anxiety are some of the most talked about problems in today’s society but we might forget that the affects of stress are not limited to adults. Children are under enormous pressure today. Demands by school, sports and private lives are increasing, however children and teenagers may not yet have developed effective coping skills to deal with their anxiety.

Bringing your child to Vive’s Natural Health Clinic for a Bach Flower massage can help relieve symptoms of stress, such as tense muscles, aches and pains. Other symptoms of stress are very complex and include skin conditions such as eczema and all sorts of immune system problems. There is a strong relationship between stress and the immune system. If stress hormones are chronically elevated, the hormone cortisol will decrease the number of healthy immune cells that fight viruses and other infections. Massage in combination with Bach Flowers can reverse this, not only reducing stress but also stress hormones, allowing the immune system to bounce back and do its job, which is to heal the body and keep it healthy.

I have seen amazing results from the use of Bach Flower essences alone, but if we combine them with a relaxing massage, the results are even more astonishing.

happy child 2By improving circulation, respiration, digestion and elimination, massage promotes a sense of comfort in anyone, but especially in children. In clinical studies preschoolers have shown better performance on tests of their intellectual and manual skills after a 15-minute massage. They also tend to sleep better during naps, are less likely to be overactive and have better behaviour ratings.

For teens struggling with the growing pains of adolescence, massage helps to balance unstable hormones and can relieve anxiety by producing a state of relaxation. A supportive relationship with a massage therapist who gives them safe, unconditional touch can also increase their feelings of self-acceptance and self-confidence during those trying years.

Stress has been identified as a major contributor to exacerbated symptoms in children with chronic illness, if not the root of the disease itself. Controlling stress is crucial for children with diabetes, asthma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

What are Bach Flowers?

Bach Flower Remedies are a complete natural healing system of 38 flower essences developed in the 1930s by Dr Edward Bach, a successful London physician, in response to his frustration over the limitations of orthodox medicine. The essences work on treating the individual by balancing negative underlying emotions which eventually cause physical stress and leave the body susceptible to disease. In other words it is the cause which is treated rather than the symptoms, and as such this is a truly holistic approach to healing. Every formula is unique to the treated person.

How it’s done

In a typical 1-hour session I first assess which Bach Flowers are most beneficial for the young client. A mixture of essences is then made up and mixed into the massage oil. Only a few drops are needed. The rest is taken home and given orally several times daily, just like any normal flower essence mixture.

The massage takes between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the child’s age, generally the younger the shorter massage time. The environment is warm and calm with relaxing music. A parent or legal guardian is present at all times. Clothing is removed as much as the child feels comfortable. If needed an effective massage can be performed through a t-shirt and track pants or shorts. Bach Flowers are then given orally rather than in the massage oil.

The older the child, thhappy child 3e more sophisticated the massage may become and include work on feet, fingers and toes, and the use of more extensive types of strokes and techniques.

Cost for a 1-hour session is $75, plus $19.95 for the essences.