Caterpillar Therapy

Holistic Beauty Treatments


Recently we’ve had at the spa a number of young people coming for treatments, being offered body massages, facials and reflexology.

Having worked previously on clients, 30 to 60 years of age my general impression was that young people and the elderly are the least to seek complementary therapies mostly due to cost. Also, from a therapist point of view working with children or teenagers, and also the elderly, further precautions are needed due to changes that our bodies go through at a very young age, respectively old age, in comparison with adult life.

Who are our very young clients, what benefits they look for when booking their treatment, as well as legal aspects for therapists and parent’s concern, will try to discuss all of these in the following page.

I felt these teenagers responded really well to the treatment, and as a matter of fact not only they knew better things such as bathing suit etiquette at the spa, but I could actually communicate with them clearly before, during and after the treatment. Some adults have misconceptions about massage; sometimes they can hardly articulate their needs, and randomly will listen to their therapist advice after the treatment. Further in comparison, not only these young people seem responsible, more mature, they are also aware of their body and mind-body interconnection, they understood that emotions play a key role in their bodily tensions and times such as academic pressures, parents expectations etc., will have a direct effect on their muscles, bodies, their whole being. Not only they are capable to listen to us therapists, but they act on what we say too, by asking their parents to offer them a treatment or by purchasing the products to improve their skin’ condition, muscle tension and so on.

For although my experience is not vast in treating adolescents, just as I started, the impact they had on me as a therapist was great. I’m truly happy to know these youngsters will form healthy adults, and hopefully societies and they will be our future clients.

In order to encourage having complementary therapies, I made below a short list to help you, teens out there as a guide for when you come next for a treatment.

  • Firstly, you should opt for a good place to have your massage, facial or other therapy. A good establishment will offer quiet, peaceful and clean environments. Will never rush you in booking whatever treatment, but rather discuss with you and your parent the best option for your therapy. A safe place will also ask you to fill in a health form, and ask you and your parent to sign it
  • Consider to choose shorter session in the beginning, and also a gentle one, such as pressure in massage. Avoid invasive treatments and these are the ones to promise ‘a quick fix’
  • If you are under 18 or 16, your parent should be in the treatment room while having the therapy, at least for the first session
  • You can ask your therapist to give you a brief explanation of what is your treatment about, and you should be explained all the aspects of what you need to do during therapy. You should have the time and space to prepare for your treatment, by having your therapist leaving the room, while you get to start to relax on the table
  • During your time you have to know it is your right to stop the treatment anytime if it feels unsafe or uncomfortable


Touch deprivation is common in many modern societies, especially in the West. However there too, the clinical research and many changes are taken place slowly but surely in schools. I chose few examples to amplify our need for healthy touch and the benefits it brings on individual and group levels.

  1. ‘Following a month of massages, teenagers with bulimia had fewer symptoms of depression, lower anxiety and lower stress hormones. … Clinical research monitoring brain activity in depressed teenagers revealed that massage therapy had positive effects and indicated that these therapies should be considered in conventional treatment programs for depression.’

Fragment from ‘Home massage: transforming family life through the healing power of touch’, by Chuck Fata, Suzette Hodnett

2.  Another project, ‘A Quiet Place’ project was an evaluation of early therapeutic intervention within schools. It involved the establishment having a therapeutic room within the school and included a range of body therapies, such as head and face massage, systematic relaxation and reflexology to enable the participants to be able to take some control over their own stress levels.

The results were as follows:

–      Increase of academic motivation and performance levels

–      Reductions in pupil’s stress levels

–      All areas of body language were improved (body posture, tension, facial expression, eye contact)

–      Improvement in ‘managing feelings and self-awareness’, elements of emotional intelligence

3.  As parents you may like to take advantage of the offers many spas and beauty places are setting, especially for mothers and daughters to enjoy together. As author, Erika Katz advises in her book, Bond over Beauty, you can share your beauty time with your daughter and this is an opportunity for both of you to open up conversations and build up a strong relationship.

My conclusion after searching into this issue was that having youngsters welcome to the world of complementary therapies is the real prevention, and key to become healthy adults, physically and emotionally. As Jessica, 7 years old would say ‘I gave my guinea pig some massage. It was still and seemed to be happy – everybody needs somebody who cares’, I think it can be a good start.

Good health!

Iuliana Simion, therapist Eden Spa Sibiu



Massage in Schools to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, project by Solveig Berggren  ‘A Quiet Place® project – unlocking potential in pupils/pupils with additional needs; to improve emotional wellbeing, builds emotional resilience and makes a positive difference to young people’s lives.’

Home massage: transforming family life through the healing power of touch, by Chuck Fata, Suzette Hodnett

Bond over Beauty, by Erika Katz

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2013 by in Posts, Uncategorized.