Monday, 9 February 2015

Who Benefits from Infant Massage?

Many ask what the benefits of Infant Massage are, but before we get to what the benefits are, we need to address the question of who benefits from this form of massage.

The word infant of course means baby. So top of the list of those who benefit will be the baby who received the massage, especially if it is given by the parents and the parents have been trained. However, the baby is not the only one to benefit.

The parent giving the massage benefits in many ways. Firstly it is relaxing to give a massage. Secondly it is reassuring to know that there is something one can do to help ones baby. Next, the act of giving the massage strengthens the bond between parent and baby. Next, when baby is calm and in a good sleep routine, the sound of silence from a contented baby is heartwarming to all.

If there are others in the house, they stand to gain too when baby is sleeping deeply in a good routine. Imagine the contrast between a content baby and one screaming from colic, gas or other problem. The quiet, contented baby is far more pleasurable to be around than the screaming baby for all concerned. The quiet, happy baby will benefit neighbours too since it wont disturb them with endless crying. This comes from regular infant massage.

Of course, we are talking about a baby who is quiet due to being content, happy and relaxed and not a baby who is quiet due to hearing or other problems. 

Aside from the immediate benefits, there are long term benefits of infant massage. The long term benefits will have a ripple effect to others who come into contact with the relaxed, contented baby as s/he grows and develops.

Further than this, the infant massage instructor certainly benefits to know that the parents who came to learn infant massage are carrying out what they learnt. It is very satisfying for any teacher or instructor to know that what they taught is being put into practise. 

I would say that the paediatrician would also benefit from the baby receiving infant massage as the baby is more likely to be co-operative and less likely to have severe sensory problems which makes the role and job of the doctor a far more pleasurable one.

So if you are wondering who benefits from infant massage, I'd say everyone who comes into contact with the baby who received the massage. Having met adults who did not receive infant massage as a baby and have developed various behvioural, sensory problems and more, I'd say that this benefit lasts a lifetime.

This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist, Photographer and Author

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