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Effective Massage Therapy for Infants and Babies

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/24/2006 | Parenting
You've probably heard about how effective massage therapy for infants and babies is by now, but you probably don't know why it is considered so beneficial. Well, although massage therapy has been practiced for a long time, the general public has only recently started to open their minds and hearts to this technique in recent years. It is now known, and proven, that touch therapy and massage helps reduce stress in infants and babies - a baby who is given the massage and touch therapy sleeps deeper and longer.

Massage therapy provides infants and babies with a very nurturing feeling and it is especially helpful for babies with medical or physical problems. The more times they experience your touch, the calmer they will become. The calmer they are, the better they are able to deal with the medical interventions that they have to go through at their young age!

Massage therapy and touch therapy have a lot in common because they have a lot to do with motion of the hands over various parts of the infant's or baby's body. The technique involves a lot of touching, stroking, and massaging of body parts. For adults, massage therapy might even be a little bit on the painful side - but for infants and babies, this is not the case.

For an infant or baby, massage therapy has a lot to do with skin-to-skin contact. This could be something as simple as holding a baby to a naked chest, holding an infant's or baby's hand when the baby is in a cubicle. Some massage therapists offer services of providing massage therapy to infants or babies in a critical or unstable condition. In fact, massage therapy is so well accepted that The International Infant Massage Therapy Association was formed in 1986.

Some nursing professionals offer massage therapy services to babies or infants they deliver. Professional nurses who offer these services will provide the technique to critically or seriously ill babies or infants. These nurses work closely with the baby or infant's doctor and other nurses to ensure that the baby or infant's health is in no way endangered at all.

The most wonderful thing about massage therapy is that it not only benefits the infant or baby, it also benefits the parents or main caregivers. The baby sleeps better, grows faster, while the parents will get an extra few hours sleep each night. Not only will the baby or infant sleep better, massage therapy could eliminate colic, tummy aches, headaches, and even a stressful day at school or even fever. Seeing the benefits of massage therapy, it is no wonder that there are so many more parents who are open to the idea of using massage therapy for their infant or baby today, as compared to a decade ago.

Babies or infants who are not medically challenged will also benefit from massage therapy. It has been shown that babies or infants who are given massage therapy from an early age tend to grow up more alert, smarter, and healthier in general.