Massage Therapy

Helping Children Heal Through Comfort and Relaxation

Massage Therapy

As a leader in pediatric massage therapy, Nationwide Children’s is one of the only children’s hospitals to staff a department of full-time, licensed massage therapists.

At Nationwide Children’s, massage therapy is integrated into the patient’s overall plan of care. Because we know that massage helps patients find comfort and get better faster.

Massage therapy is a form of therapy that uses the gentle application of systematic touch, focusing on specific areas of the body, or the whole body, for the purpose of promoting healing and relaxation. Massage therapy reduces stress, relieves tension and pain and increases the circulation throughout the body. Patients may benefit from feelings of safety, comfort, well-being, enhanced self-esteem, and reduced anxiety and depression.

Services We Offer

As part of the multidisciplinary medical team, the massage therapy team evaluates and provides personalized treatment specific to each patient and diagnosis.

The massage therapy team attempts to involve every patient and family to identify functional treatment goals, which allows for the establishment of an individualized plan of care.

Our massage therapy team has extensive training in hospital-based massage therapy including specializations and certifications, including:

  • Burns/Scar tissue MT

  • CIMI/Infant MT

  • Cranial Sacral

  • Fragile Infant/NICU MT

  • Lymphatic Drainage

  • Myofascial Release

  • NMT (Neuromuscular)

  • Oncology MT

  • Trigger Point

  • Sports/Event MT

Who We Serve

The massage therapy team provides services to patients of all ages who have been diagnosed with childhood disease or illness and functional problems. From initial diagnosis and onset, during treatment and recovery, through discharge, Massage therapy is involved throughout your child’s entire inpatient medical course. 

Some of the diagnoses and patients we provide massage therapy for are:


  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Heart/Lung Transplant
  • ECMO
  • Asthma
  • BPD


  • Childhood Cancers
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Limb salvage


  • Sickle cell disease
  • Bleeding Disorders


  • Migraine headaches
  • Seizures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries

Eating Disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia
  • Rumination
  • Failure to Thrive


  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Burns
  • Orthopedic conditions

Chemical Dependency

Types of Therapy

Swedish Massage

The use of touch, including techniques and passive joint movements within the normal range of motion to promote relaxation, calming, and increased circulation.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

The gentle movement of congested fluids in the body to relieve pain, tension and fatigue, and to reduce edema and swelling.

Craniosacral Therapy

Gentle touch to the head, neck, back, and other joints in the body, having a calming and soothing response on the nervous system. It is used for pain relief, headaches, and overall physical health and well-being.

Myofascial Therapy

The use of specific techniques to release tight muscles, or “knots” which have accumulated in the muscle. The pressure may vary from light to moderate or even deep, to relieve pain and numbness, and to increase blood flow to the area.

Meet Our Leadership

Slawomir Sarna

Slawomir Sarna

Slawomir Sarna is the Inpatient Therapies Program Manager at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Our Clinics 

Massage Therapy maintains clinics on the main campus of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and at other locations in Ohio.