It is never too late to begin massage… Whether your baby is a newborn or several years old, massage can bring immediate and lasting results. Expectant parents who take infant massage instruction in advance are ready to begin this wonderful loving touch right from the start. Infant Massage is a very old parenting practice that has been modernized and is in active use today supported by evidence-based research. There is recorded history of the use and practice of infant massage amongst many different cultures around the globe. In the last half of the last century, in the early 70’s infant massage began to appear in the western world.
Infant Massage / Baby Massage
Have you ever wondered what infant massage is?
Have you overheard a friend talking about infant massage?
Do you want to teach parents how to massage their children?
What is Infant Massage? The Language of Touch
Infant massage is a bonding activity between parents and their children. In the most basic terms, infant or pediatric massage refers to the process of stroking the muscles of an infant using a variety of specialized massage techniques. Vocalization, eye-to-eye contact, and other positive behavioral reinforcements are also important components of the massage.
Ancient Art of Infant Massage
Mothers have been practicing the art of infant massage for centuries. Based on this historical fact, it is very clear that all babies should be massaged, touched and loved to promote their social-emotional-cognitive and physical development. As an early intervention strategy and therapeutic tool, infant massage is becoming a specialty therapy in the United States. Infant massage is being embraced by a wide variety of professionals who are incorporating it into their practices to help families cope with children with special needs as well as healthy full term newborns. Techniques are simple and effective and are most likely performed by parents and primary caregivers who have been taught by certified infant massage instructors. The approach is empowering and improves the parent-infant attachment process. There is a growing body of research that supports the therapeutic benefits. Infant massage is a crucial and routine part of infant care around the world and has the ability to create great benefits for both parents and the newborn.
“Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant; food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins” ~ Frederick Leboyer
Dr. Frederick Leboyer, M.D., was the first physician to challenge Western society’s deeply held beliefs about awareness in the newborn. He was one of the first doctors to record the ancient art of baby massage. His Book Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage was first published in 1976 from his trip to Calcutta and gives us a good example of this ancient parenting tradition. From the creation of his book, infant massage began to spread across the world, becoming more embraced and accepted.
Loving Touch’s Easy-to-Learn Infant Massage Techniques
Developed by ILTF, Baby’s First Touch: Step-by-Step Instructions for Infant Massage provides some of the easiest methods and approach for learning infant massage. This bilingual DVD combined with the illustrated guidebook helps you to easily learn infant massage step-by-step. Our Certified Infant Massage Instructors use these materials in their classes when teaching parents infant massage. (Available in English & Spanish)
If you would like to know more about infant massage please check out the following links for more detailed information.