There are several methods of relaxing and soothing both mind and body. Relaxation techniques and visualizations can be ideal ways of calming yourself before offering nurturing touch to your child. You can also use them with your child, speaking softly and changing the words to suit her age and interests, whenever you feel it might be helpful for her, or indeed for you both. Older children may be able to use visualizatios for themselves when they feel the need to ease away tension, focus their attention and quieten their busy minds.
Practice this visualization to experience the feeling of peace that it can bring. Stand with your feet shoulder – width apart or sit comfortably on an upright chair. Relax your knees and shoulders. Close your eyes it you feel comfortable with them closed.
Now imagine that you are a tree, and that your feet are like the roots of a great tree sinking deep down into the earth. Your body feels strong and stable, like the trunk of an ancient tree. Feel the connection with the ground beneath you. Imagine that branches of your tree are growing from your head and shoulders, reaching high into the blue sky above you. Picture the leaves of your tree opening into the sunlight and relaxing in the warmth and energy of the sun’s rays. Feel the warmth. Enjoy the beauty of the blue sky. Be very quiet. Can you hear the birds singing?
Breathe in that feeling of natural warmth and relaxation. Allow it to spread through every part of you – from the top of your head to the very tips of your fingers and toes. Enjoy this peace for few moments. Now wriggle your fingers and your toes. Open your eyes, if they are closed. Stay with this quiet and peaceful frame of mind to begin whatever activity you are choosing to do next.
Once you start to feel the difference between tense and relaxed muscles, you will instantly recognize when you are holding tension, and you can then make a consious effort to relax and let go. This relaxation exercise, which you can enjoy doing on your own way or with your child at any time of day ( or night), involves deliberately tensing and relaxing different muscles in your body. You will find that it helps ease aches and pains, as well as relaxing both your mind and your body.
Sit or lie comfortably and loosen any tight clothing. Tense the muscles in your face. Make a distorted face, screwing up your eyes and mouth. Hold this position for a count of five, then release. Repeat a second time. Now hunch your shoulders and then let them drop and relax. Feel the tension easing from your body.
Next grip your fingers very tightly and then let go. This is a blissful feeling and can be repeated around other parts of the body. Perhaps your child could suggest which muslces to tense, hold and relax.
Visualization and relaxation techniques help calm mind and body.
Choosing oils for massage
Carrier oils are natural vegetable oils that can be used as lubricant to make massage flow more easily and bring the benefit of skin – to- skin contact. They are rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals to help moisturize, nourish and strenghthen skin and hair, and may be mixed together if you wish. The most popular carrier oils for children are described here.
. Sweet almond oil