Teen Sports and Massage Therapy

Every athlete is on the lookout for an edge that helps them train more effectively, perform better and recover from injuries more quickly.  For teens, whose bodies are still growing, muscles are more vulnerable to physical stressors, and because the muscles are getting longer, sometimes there are naturally occurring “growing pains”.

In any competitive or recreational sport, the risk of injury is high, and the risk of acquiring a long term injury is very real  Teen sports are no exception. School injury prevention programs are typically limited to padding and equipment, and maybe a few stretches.  For an active, growing teen, this really isn’t enough.

Stress is also a significant factor in growing teens, just like it is for adults.  Whether it’s school, the pressure to excel, family issues, or relationships, stress can be a real and harmful emotional drain.

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Childhood Trauma and Massage

Trauma is a “stressful event or events that are ongoing or unpredictable that result in overwhelming feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness”. Trauma can be caused by natural disasters/events (like tornadoes, earthquakes, fire, flood, explosion) or physical, psychological or emotional injury caused by abuse, neglect and/or willful misconduct.

Everyone responds to traumatic events differently.  Children, for example, sometimes deal with trauma is they simply freezing and become unresponsive, their “fight or flight” basic instincts are engaged.  Hearts pump, breathing goes rapid and shallow, hands perspire, stomachs tighten.  Children lack the ego strengths and cognitive emotional inhibitors necessary to cope with trauma, so they respond with physical hyper-arousal (like ADHD), emotional numbing or reactivity, startle responses, all which can lead to neuro-endocrine abnormalities and developmental delays.

In adults, response to trauma can include aches and pains like headaches & backaches, sudden sweating or heart palpitations, changes in sleep patterns, enhanced startle reflex, fear, anxiety, grief, hyper-alertness, irritability, mood swings, shame, guilt and more.  It’s pretty clear that trauma has significant impact on physical and emotional wellness.

Long term effects

In some cases, in both children and adults, trauma can lead to PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) which manifests itself in flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or nightmares, avoidance and emotional numbing, and physical symptoms like elevated heart rate. Those symptoms can be long lasting.

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