When it comes to therapies, in my mind, the best ones are the holistic ones. In situations where your child's disability is not deemed bad enough for Occupational Therapies, holistic massage is an avenue I would recommend. Massage is a fabulous therapy suitable for nearly all. Massage therapies are about healing the body and the mind using positive touch to receive tension and relax, allowing the body to heal itself. 

They have not only helped my children in ways explained below, but they have also given me a purpose, something to concentrate on, and a way to contribute to other parents and children living with disabilities.

As a parent, trying to do the best for my children is always at the top of my list. I am their protector, their teacher as well as their mother. For me, having disabled children has had a profound effect on who I’ve become. After the kids were born, I went back to work part-time so work fitted around children, until it came to the point where work couldn’t also fit around the myriad of hospital appointments. After finding holistic therapies I decided to train in holistic massage to aid other children and their families as well as my own.

As a parent, I had never really considered the benefits of massage before, I used to have reflexology on my feet whilst pregnant but that was as far as my knowledge went. I was always intrigued as to how a therapist could tell I had a bad back from my feet, but it was relaxing and I felt better in myself afterwards.

So when I felt lost in a world of confusion and loneliness, I began researching ways to help my child diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder while trying to understand what the diagnosis meant for my daughter. One answer that kept coming back was holistic therapies and how the benefits of massage could really help with some of the symptoms. As a parent and a therapist I have found the main benefits of holistic and Indian head massage for a child with ADD are:

  • Calming; aids deeper more relaxed breathing
  • relaxes stiff, tired, tense muscles
  • aids concentration
  • aids sleep
  • aids circulation

There are lots more benefits of massage, but for a child with ADD these are the most important benefits that they can receive from holistic massage. My daughter has had regular holistic massage now for two years and while it is by no means a cure it has helped her considerably in times where nothing else has worked. Massage relaxes and calms which, when you are on the go all the time and your mind struggles to switch off, can be a godsend. By relaxing and being able to settle her mind, my daughter finds that her concentration can improve without medication, as well as her overall wellbeing. I have found that my daughter can hold a lot of tension in her shoulders which leads to back and neck pain and headaches. Since having regular massage these symptoms have almost disappeared. Don't get me wrong there are some days where massage just does not work, or it can take an hour just to get her to sit still long enough, but once she does the benefits far outweigh the negatives. My daughter is never forced to have a massage, it is her choice, and one that even as a parent I ask her permission. As a therapist I am client led which means I follow their lead. Massage should never been seen as something to be forced into, but as a choice the child can make for themselves. 

Another great therapy that we have found works well is story massage. This is where we put 10 easy and simple massage moves to her favourite songs and stories, and the effects are positively fab!!! This type of massage therapy is one the whole family can get involved with, and can have a positive effect on family relationships, especially the relationship between siblings which can be charged and strained at best. It gets the whole family having fun while using positive touch to bond, something which can be difficult in today’s society. Story massage also gives my daughter a voice, a way to channel her feelings and it enables her to tell me stories she has made up, or how she is feeling as she is talking while giving me a massage......yes, mums can have a story massage too!!!!

To find out more about Leanne and raising a daughter with ADD follow www.leannesihm.wordpress.com