Infant Massage Definition
Infant Massage: Studies have found that premature babies gain weight faster and recover sooner with massage. With infant massage stimulation of the circulatory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems are achieved.
Infant massage has been developed and practices by tens of thousands of cultures for centuries past. In the 1970's Vimala Schneider McClure brought the practice of infant massage to the United States after studies conducted in India on infants. Swedish strokes, reflexology, and yoga along with the Indian massage strokes are the main concepts of infant massage.
There are many benefits of infant massage such as relaxation for the infant, enhancing infant bonding with parent or caretaker, aiding in physical growth and development, promoting communication, and improving an infant's sleep cycle. Infant massage relieves an infant of pain or discomfort it may be feeling associated with teething, congestion (chest or sinus), colic, or emotional stress. In addition, infant massages is known to speed myelination of the brain and nervous system along with relaxation and enhancement of neurological development. When practiced correctly it aids in digestion and deepens respiration. MOst importantly is increases oxygen and nutrient flow to the cells, increases circulation, improves sensory awareness, and encourages mid-line orientation. As an infant learns to relax and release built up stress contain in growing muscles the result is a healthier happier infant.