OSAKA - No parent wants their child to get hurt playing sports, and an Osaka-based association is here to help, offering a workshop for parents on how to maintain their kids' physical condition through a massage that takes just 10 minutes.
The workshop, titled Papa Mama Trainer Koza, is offered by Kids & Junior Sports Conditioning Kyokai, a general incorporated association.
Instructors include Sayaka Shimokawaji, who provides aromatherapy to the Nadeshiko League's INAC Kobe in women's football.
The organisation started its activities based in the Kansai region in 2015, and about 700 people have participated in the workshop so far. The workshop has also been held in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures as well as in Shanghai.
The workshop costs ¥14,800 (S$185) and lasts four hours, with the first half dedicated to a lecture focusing on the physical and psychological changes children go through while growing, the causes of their injuries and the importance of recovering from fatigue.
The second half, the practical portion, shares massage techniques to help quickly relax muscles. Physical contact with their parents helps children's endocrine systems secrete more amounts of oxytocin, a hormone that helps people feel calmer, according to the association.
A recent workshop in Osaka was attended by six mothers, including Yukako Kai of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, whose high school-aged daughter takes classical ballet lessons.
"It was nice to learn about both the psychological and physical aspects of children," said Kai. "She's busy with her studies, so it's nice the massage only takes 10 minutes."
Masami Iwao, director general of the association, said he has a bitter memory from childhood. "I was forced to give up playing baseball due to an elbow injury," he said. "I want to support children who will move us" with their athletic performances.