I cannot believe I’m posting this, and at some point, I should be able to print this and save it for that Truly Embarassing Moment for Hallboy, but here goes.
Hallboy’s 13th birthday is coming up next week. This past weekend, we recieved in the mail an ad for Baltimore School of Massage. Now, I’ve been there before for a massage (by the students who are getting ready to graduate) and it’s all very professional, I was treated with respect and professionalism, etc. and it was a very nice experience (and a pretty darn good massage as well!). Hallboy is the type of kid who always wants his shoulders rubbed, his back “popped”, etc., so he saw the advertisment and said, “Hey, can I get a massage for my birthday?” I said, “Sure”, but now I’m wondering about this. I explained that he’d probably strip down to his underwear and he’d be covered with a sheet, and they’d do his back, shoulders, legs, arms, neck, and he asked if they’d do his chest or stomach and I said probably not. (They didn’t do mine on the occassions I’ve had professional massages.) He seemed okay with this, and actually looked forward to getting his back and neck done.
Good idea? Bad idea?
I’m going to call them and see if they have any problems providing a massage for a 13 year old boy, but I’d like to get an opinon from someone who used to be…well a 13 year old boy.
My wife is a professional massage therapist and she has massaged young boys like that. She’s never mentioned any awkwardness on the kid’s part. I mention that because the one boy in question is a buddy of my son’s and after the massage he would head down to the rec room to play xbox with my son till his parents arrived
You might want to ask if it’s ok if you accompany him in the massage room. Not because I think the therapist would try to do anything illegal to him, but he might get wigged out at the last minute and wish his parent were there.
The *therapist *may request that you accompany him into the room. Not because the therapist would try to do anything illegal to him, but to protect themselves from false allegations. I would, if it was a kid I didn’t know personally.
Bring a book and try to remove yourself “energetically” from the process (ie, don’t move about, make noise or talk unless you have to - let him relax and let it be about him, not you), but you might have to be physically present.
I just called and made our appointments. Yes, OUR appointments. I figured since I was going to be there, I might as well get a massage to acknowledge the fact that 13 years ago I was undergoing a C-Section.
The woman who made our appointments didn’t have any problems with it. I explained that it was his 13th birthday, etc. and that he’d not had a massage before, but wanted one.
About going in with him–the facility (unless it’s drastically changed) is a huge room that is curtianed off between tables. Because the students are the ones giving the messages, they are supervised. since we’re both having a massage, I would imagine that I’ll be on the other side of the curtain. (Kind of like in the Wizard of Oz…)
I’m a CMT and have been working an increasing number of young teens because of problems developed while carrying overloaded backpacks to and from school.
If anything, kids tend to be less nervous about their first professional massage than most adults. They seem to be a bit more ticklish on average, but usually in predictable places so it’s easy to avoid.
I guess the parents who bring their kids in are self selecting for positive body attitudes - most of them let the child decide how naked to get and what areas are “out of bounds.” Most of the kids, boys and girls, who come regularly eventually prefer to be nude, and emerge very quickly from shy and submissive to confident and assertive (“as much pressure on the back of my legs as possible today please”).
Jeebus, the pain that an RMT massage would have spared me at 13! Active lad I was, I had sore muscles all the time. As long as he’s comfortable with the idea, most RMT’s are pretty good at communicating with their patients and work within their comfort zones.
Don’t lug that overloaded backpack anymore. I’ve seen programs on this problem and it is affecting kids from a very young age. Think about each item in your bag and whether or not you will actually use it on a given day. If you’re not going to use it THAT DAY, don’t pack it. Sure, you’ll have to pack each morning, but it’s a small price to pay for your comfort and health.
Along with unloading half your pack (A backpack should hold no more than 15-20% of your body weight (cite with a table)), switch to a two-strap pack and use both straps. If you pack heavy - on the 20% end, get a backpack with a hip strap to transfer some of the weight down your body better. Load your heaviest items in the bag so they’re closest to your back, and get a smaller pack so you’re not so tempted to overload it. I use my kitchen scale measure my kids’ packs periodically, because my son has had spinal surgery, so I’m extra cautious about his load-bearing activity.
Massage is good for relieving acute pain, but you also have another problem you probably don’t see, which is asymmetrical muscle development in your back and perhaps even your legs. This will continue to pull you out of alignment, because there’s more muscle pulling on your spine on one side than the other. The best way to deal with this is weight training or resistance exercise under the supervision of a very experienced trainer. She can help design a program when you’ll exercise both sides, but the smaller one more, until you get evened out.
I know, it’s sounds like a lot of work and a pain in the ass, but please trust me it’s worth it. You don’t want to see some of the painful twisted up older people I’ve seen on my table. If they’d taken care of it young, they could have avoided a lot of pain as they aged.