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The Benefits of Baby Massage


Hands on Babies recognise four main categories of benefits for the baby resulting from massage:

  • Interaction
  • Stimulation
  • Relief
  • Relaxation

Interaction:

  • Promotion of bonding and secure attachment. Bonding and attachment are of crucial importance to human beings and form the beginning of a relationship that will endure through time. In humans, bonding is a process rather than an event and is forged through reciprocal interaction between two people. Baby massage fundamentally supports this process by providing parents with a wonderful opportunity to bond with their babies through loving touch, special one-to-one time, eye contact and affection
  • Verbal and non verbal communication. At hands on babies we believe that your baby is an individual with his own needs likes and dislikes. In our sessions you will be given hints and tips to help you identify and better understand your baby’s communication ‘cues’. As well as enabling you to better understand and communicate with your baby, our sessions will also positively stimulate all of your babies physical and neurological systems including those associated with pre-language communication, speech and learning ability.
  • Demonstrating love – during hands on babies sessions parents rhythmically stroke their babies, forging the bonds of trust that are so important to their future development. Skin to skin contact causes the release of hormones that create loving, caring and empathetic behaviour.

Stimulation:

hands on babies baby massage stimulates many of your baby’s major internal systems and may aid his neurological and physical development.

The internal systems that baby massage not only stimulates but may also aid include:

  • Circulatory
    The circulatory system is an organ system that moves nutrients, gases, and wastes to and from cells, helps fight diseases and helps stabilize body temperature and pH to maintain a stable and constant condition.
  • Digestive
    Digestion is the breaking down of chemicals in the body, into a form that can be absorbed. It is also the process by which the body breaks own chemicals into smaller components that can be absorbed by the blood stream.
  • Hormonal
    Hormones are chemicals released by cells that affect cells in other parts of the body. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. It is also a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another.
  • Immune
    An immune system is a collection of mechanisms that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly.
  • Lymphatic
    The lymphatic system has three interrelated functions. It is responsible for the removal of interstitial fluid from tissues. It absorbs and transports fatty acids and fats to the circulatory system. The last function of the lymphatic system is the transport of antigen presenting cells, to the lymph nodes where an immune response is stimulated.
  • Nervous
    The nervous system is a network of specialized cells that communicate information about a human's surroundings and itself. It processes this information and causes reactions in other parts of the body.
  • Respiratory
    A respiratory system functions to allow gas exchange.This includes airways, lungs, and the respiratory muscles.
  • Vestibular
    The vestibular system, which contributes to our balance and our sense of spatial orientation, is the sensory system that provides the dominant input about movement and balance

Regular massage can also stimulate muscle development and tone and improve your babies mind and body awareness. Many babies who are massaged demonstrate better than average language and physical ability.

Relief:

Baby massage can help with many common baby ailments that can cause great anxiety for both parents and babies. Research has shown that baby massage can alleviate many of the symptoms and pain associated with:

  • Gas and colic
    Infant colic (also known as baby colic, three month colic, and infantile colic) is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods without any discernible reason. The condition typically appears within the first two weeks of life and almost invariably disappears, often very suddenly, before the baby is three to four months old. It is more common in bottle-fed babies, but also occurs in breast-fed infants. The crying frequently occurs during a specific period of the day, often in the early evening.
  • Constipation and elimination
    Constipation, is a condition of the digestive system in which a person experiences hard faeces that are difficult to expel. This usually happens because the colon absorbs too much water from the food. If the food moves through the gastro-intestinal tract too slowly, the colon may absorb too much water, resulting in faeces that are dry and hard. Defecation may be extremely painful, and in severe cases lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction.
  • Gastrointestinal cramps
    Cramping of the digestive system can be aided and sometimes relieved simply by regular massage of the affected area.
  • Growing pains
    Growing pains are pain symptoms relatively common in children. Typically, they are located in the muscles, rather than the joints, of the leg and less commonly the arm. They are usually felt on both sides, and appear late in the day or at night, waking the child, with pain varying from mild to very severe. Pain is absent by the morning, and there are no objective clinical signs of inflammation. Pain can recur nightly or be absent for days to months. Growing pain is not associated with other serious disease and usually resolves by late childhood, but frequent episodes are capable of having a substantial effect on the life of the child.
  • Muscular tension
    This can be a tightness of muscle tone and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch (i.e. an increased stiffness.
  • Teething discomfort
    Teething is the process by which an infant's teeth sequentially appear by breaking through the gums. Teething may start as early as three months or as late, in some cases, as twelve months. Occasionally a baby may even have one or more teeth at birth. The typical time frame for new teeth to appear is somewhere between six and nine months.
  • Excess mucus and nasal congestion
    Nasal congestion is the blockage of the nasal passages usually due to membranes lining the nose becoming swollen from inflamed blood vessels. The newborn infant can only breathe through the nose and nasal congestion in an infant in the first few months of life can interfere with breastfeeding and cause life-threatening respiratory distress. Nasal congestion can interfere with the ears, hearing, and speech development.
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Physical and psychological tension
    A form of stress, tension refers to the consequences of the failure of a human to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats. It includes a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion.

Relaxation

Baby massage has been shown to help babies and parent relax and become less stressed. Many parents believe baby massage has helped their baby attain the following:

  • Improved sleep patterns
    Children need a greater amount of sleep per day than adults to develop and function properly: up to 18 hours for newborn babies, with a declining rate as a child ages.
    Average amount of sleep per day needed
    Newborn = up to 18 hours
    1–12 months = 14–18 hours
    1–3 years = 12–15 hours
    3–5 years = 11–13 hours
    5–12 years = 9–11 hours
    Adolescents = 9–10 hours
    Adults, including elderly = 7–8(+) hours
    Pregnant women = 8(+) hours
  • Regulation of behavioural states
    When relaxed, humans have a better ability to control themselves and their behaviour.
  • Being calm and the ability to self calm
  • Reduction of stress levels and stress hormones
  • Increased levels of relaxing or anti-stress hormones
  • Less hypersensitivity
    Hypersensitivity refers to undesirable (damaging, discomfort-producing and sometimes fatal) reactions produced by the normal immune system.
  • Less hyperactivity
    Hyperactivity can be described as a physical state in which a person is abnormally and easily excitable or exuberant. Strong emotional reactions, impulsive behavior, and sometimes a short span of attention are also typical for a hyperactive person. Baby massage relaxes and increases the periods of calm for both parent and child
Contact us today on 0845 017 6029 (local rate calls) or email us
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