|Lena Jelveus: Swedish Child Massage|
Swedish Health Institute (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-9718124-0-31
If you pride yourself in being a typical American, you run better than even chances that you like your dogs hot, your pie apple, and your local massage parlor not in your backyard, thank you very much. After all, such places serve as dens of iniquity at best and fronts for pornography at worst. Throw children into the mix and, whoa! Call in the Vice Squad and Child Protective Services!
Swedish author and Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) Lena Jelveus knows she fights an uphill battle to popularize the "science" of nurturing touch among Americans. "We are born with a hunger for food, air, and touch," she observes. To deprive a person of touch stunts sensory growth, often to serious and long-lasting ill effect, including unacceptable behavior.
And yet she recognizes our non-tactile society, perhaps from fear that even the most innocent touching risks devolving into the sexual realm, buries massage under the rockslide of taboo.
I agree with Jelveus: it's high time to topple this taboo mountain. If not for my weekly massage sessions, necessitated to help speed my recovery following neck surgery, I would not have achieved nearly the range of motion I enjoy today. Since my daughter became interested in ballet lessons, with all those attendant aches, I became doubly intrigued with Jelveus's book, which focuses on giving Swedish massage to children of all ages, from infants to teens.
Nor does Jelveus disappoint. Human beings experience different needs and behavioral patterns along the path to full development, so she organizes Swedish Child Massage by age group: infant, elementary age, and teen. At each stage she emphasizes the need for and means of delivering nurturing, non-threatening touch, providing age-appropriate examples, games and advice, accompanied by excellent photographs.
I knocked off half a point due to some typos, probably an artifact of translating the original Swedish text into English. Also, she didn't sell me on her theory of massage as the means to achieve World Peace.
But don't let my nit-pickiness stop you from acquiring this informative book.
Written for any parent to understand, and yet detailed enough for other LMTs to benefit, Swedish Child Massage makes a valuable addition to everyone's medical reference set. In fact I'd be delighted to buy you a copy . . . but gotta run. My massage appointment started ten minutes ago!
Kim D. Headlee
Kim D. Headlee
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