Infant Massage Therapist Benton Harbor MI
Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
Acupressure, Animal Health, Biofeedback, Bioidentical Hormones, BioSET, Distance Healing, Electro-dermal screening, Energy Healing, Herbology, Homeopathy, Integrative Medicine, Kinesiology, Laser Therapy, Lymphatic Therapy, Magnetic Therapy, NAET, Naturopathy, Neurofeedback, NHRT, Nutrition, Reams Testing, Remote Healing, SpectraVision, Water Therapy, Wellness Centers
Clinton Township, MI
Wellness Training, Weight Management, Tai Chi, Stress Management, Reiki, Preventive Medicine, Pain Management, Other, Nutrition, Naturopathy, Mind/Body Medicine, Metabolic Medicine, Men's Health, Internal Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Geriatrics, General Practice, Family Practice, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Dermatology, Coaching, Chelation Therapy, Arthritis, Aromatherapy, Allergy
American Holistic Medical Association
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Massage to Soothe Your Cranky Baby
Empirical research suggests our appreciation of massage starts early—as tastes go, it’s one that needs little acquiring. That’s certainly the message behind the growing trend of infant massage, where mothers and fathers (and sometimes caretakers) bond with their wee ones through loving touch and improve their overall health. Parents, nurses, and doctors say that massage helps babies grow better, improves digestion, and eases colic. Studies conducted at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine show that infant massage facilitates weight gain in preterm infants, decreases babies’ level of stress hormones, and balances out their sleep/wake cycle. “Nurturing touch is important for children’s physical, social, behavioral, mental, and cognitive development,” says Linda Garofallou, an infant and pediatric massage therapist at Children’s Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. She gives infant massage to patients and also trains others in the technique.
To do an infant massage, choose a time when your baby is well fed and rested. Put a towel in a quiet room for the baby to lie on, choose a natural oil such as coconut, almond, or avocado, and play relaxing music. Assess the baby’s receptivity by observing her response to your touch. If she is stiff or tense, then use your intuition: either hold her closely in your arms until she relaxes—or wait for another time. A gazing, quiet, yet alert state means she is ready to begin.
A common stroke, called Indian Milking, entails holding one foot with your hand and then “milking” the leg from the ankle to thigh. Follow this by holding the thigh with both hands and gently twisting and squeezing your hands as you move from thigh to foot. (For more strokes, see Vimala Schneider’s classic book, Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents [Bantam, 1989] or visit the International Association of Infant Massage, www.iaim.ws/home.html , to find a certified infant massage instructor near you.)
Babes aren’t the only ones who benefit from infant massage. Experts like Andrea Kelly, ceo of the International Association of Infant Massage in Ventura, California say that giving a massage releases nurturing hormones for both the mother (oxytocin) and the father (prolactin).
In addition to bonding, infant massage helps kids born with addictions or serious health problems, says Joanne Starr, MD, director of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital. She’s seen the positive effects of Garofallou’s infant massage on the tiny heart patients she’s operated on. “I think it’s a very important part of their healing,” says Starr, who adds that many of these infants can’t be held because they are hooked up to ventilators. “It’s such a helpless feeling for the parents, but massage empowers them to do something.”
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...