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Infant Massage – The Magic Touch

23 Aug

Baby massage is an art and a science that connect you to your babies mind, body and soul. This magical massage is a combination of Indian and Swedish massage strokes, reflexology and yoga.  It is practiced in most of the world today, tho it is an ancient parenting skill of 5000 years.

I love this time with my daughter as we both learn through playing, touching and making sounds.  I started her massage the day after her birth, with gentle strokes with my fingertips and today she is receiving full Abhyanga baby massages with warm home made herbal oil.  She has already become accustomed to our ritual which includes a small feeding followed by a 20-25 minute massage, which we then transition into a bath, the second half of the feeding.  After this she sleeps for a full 4 hours, waking up with a smile.  I have witnessed her muscles gain strength, at 4 weeks, she can already lift her head and move it side to side, she has rolled over a few times and already smiles at us when we smile at her.

In 2005, The Touch Research Institute concluded baby massage benefits both parents and babies in ways such as:

For Babies

  • Relieves baby’s discomfort from Gas (colic), teething, chest and sinus congestion, emotional stress
  • Builds circulatory, immune and GI system
  • Enhances  Neurological growth and development of the Nervous system
  • Strengthens muscle tone,  mid-line orientation, body awareness and sensory integration
  • Deepens respiration and relaxation promoting  sounder and longer sleep and calmer and happier babies
  • Sets the stage for healthier relationship and social interaction in adulthood
  • Builds trust and communication between the parent and child

For Parents

  • Increases confidence and competence in your relationship and parenting skills;  reinforces parents role and builds child’s trust
  • Therapeutic, Relaxing and fortifies bonding; great healing for Postpartum Depression
  • Encourages pre-verbal communication and cue recognition; especially helpful for working parents who are away from their child all day
  • Creates a regular time of intimacy and can assist in setting up a bedtime ritual
  • Is great way to include family interaction;  a positive way for fathers to bond

Besides all these benefits, its a fun play time and a pleasure to cuddle and caress the delicate, soft and tender skin of their newborns.  Infant Massage should be given to newborns midway between feedings while older babies should be massaged a little more than an hour after meals.

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