Infant massage seems to be sweeping the world at the instant - its popularity has exploded within the last few years, much of which is due to Vimala McClure and the IAIM.
But, as with most natural curative techniques, it is by no income a new thing. People have been massaging babies for centuries.
Once again, it is the Western earth that is slow on the uptake.
But we are knowledge, and more and more people are being skilled to be able to teach this art to the people who need to know.
Daily infant massage is a great way to bond with baby. What's more, researchers are result that massage may promote better sleeping, relieve colic, and perhaps even enhance an infant's immune system, motor skills, and thinker development. Here are some tips and techniques to help you along.
Use a blanket or towel, and massage oil in a unbreakable container. (Test the oil on a small spot of your baby's skin and wait a day to be sure no irritation appears.)
Start when your baby is in a quiet yet alert state -- not right away after a feed or when she's sleepy.
Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together, forming a diamond shape with your legs. Drape the blanket over your feet and flanked by your knees.
Infant massage (baby massage) has been used by some cultures for hundreds of years and is now becoming popular in the United States. Touch is one of the first senses to enlarge and is vital to an infant's development. Not only does massage support bonding, it offers many health benefits.
Infant massage may brace the immune system, promote weight gain in premature infants, improve muscle tone and coordination, increase circulation and oxygenation, enhance motor skills and neurological development, support sleep, and relieve colic.
Infant massage also benefits the parent. It can reduce tension and anxiety and increase self esteem and confidence in the parenting role.
Infant Massage Techniques
Begin with baby's feet. Using your thumb and index finger, stroke from toe to heel along the sole of the foot and toe to ankle on the top of the foot.
Now, hold baby's leg quietly at the ankle with one hand and using a slow, gentle circular motion, caress from baby's ankle to hip with alternating hands.
Move to baby's hands. Open baby's hand with your thumb and gently stroke the palm and top of the hand. Gently roll each of baby's fingers between your index finger and thumb.
Hold baby's wrist with one hand and stroke from the wrist to the shoulder. Then, massage around each shoulder with gentle, small, circular motions.
Using a circular activity and light touch, stroke baby's tummy in a clockwise direction below the rib cage. Avoid babies naval if the cord is still attached.
Then, place both hands on the center of baby's chest. Gently stroke out to the sides, bring your hands down and then back up to the center of the baby's chest.
Benefits of Infant Massage
- Helps Relieve Discomfort from Gas, Colic, and Constipation
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Aids in Digestion
- Enhanced Development of the Nervous System
- Stimulates Neurological growth
- Increases Alertness/Heightened Awareness
- Reduces Stress Hormones
- Improves Immune Function
- The Release of Oxytocin, the Nurturing Hormone
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