For the next installment in my Benefits of Massage Therapy series, I want to talk a little bit about infant massage.
As an infant massage instructor, I teach parents and caregivers how to massage their babies. Infant massage has many benefits, not only for the babies, but for the person doing the massage.
Benefits for Babies
The benefits of massage for babies can be broken down into 4 categories; relief, stimulation, interaction, and relaxation. Let's take a look at what kinds of benefits fall under those categories.
• Gas and constipation
• Growing pains
• Teething discomfort
• Psychological tension
• Language development
• Muscle development
• Sensory integration
• Mind/body awareness
• All Systems of the body
• Encourages verbal/nonverbal communication skills
• Introduces positive, nurturing touch
• Provides one-on-one time
• Promotes feelings of:
• Improves sleep patterns
• Improves the ability to calm oneself
• Reduces levels of stress hormones
• Decreases hyperactivity and hypersensitivity
Benefits for parents/caregivers, families, and society*
• Decrease in stress hormones
• Improved sleep
• Stimulation of lactation
• Decrease in symptoms of depression
• Achieving a better understanding of your baby
• Promotion of bonding and attachment
• More involvement for parents who work full time and don't get as many opportunities to spend time with their babies
• Quality time
• Better sleep for everyone
• Decrease in sibling rivalry
• More relaxed environment
• Increased respect
• Increase in respect and empathy
• Reduction of national health costs due to a healthier society
• Reduction of:
* Societal impacts are based on studies that have been done in cultures where infant massage is more prevalent.
To learn more about my infant massage course, with a description of the class structure. Visit my page on infant massage.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.