Also known as infant massage, the practice has been around for centuries in Oriental cultures. Yet a fundamental misunderstanding of what massage really is has kept infant message from gaining popularity in the west. Simply put, massage is a technique of stimulating and manipulating various parts of the body for purposes of relaxation. The skin, joints, and muscles are typical subjects of massage therapy.
With babies the massage techniques are modified accordingly so as to avoid injury. Nonetheless, the purpose and principle of baby massage is the same. We touch and stimulate the baby's skin and muscles in order to induce relaxation. And it works. Numerous studies indicate that the many benefits of infant massage include less fussiness, more consistent sleep patterns, and improved circulation and digestion. Some experts believe consistent baby massage promotes an earlier self awareness in a child, which may aid better self esteem later in life.
But baby is not the only one who benefits. Parents can experience a similar amount of relaxation while massaging their babies, as well as increased confidence in parenting, a stronger parent-child bond, and longer periods of quiet contentment in the home. Anyone who doubts need only observe the healing touch of a mother's hand.
The art of baby massage is made easier for both parent and child when proper training has been received. Though it may seem a bit intimidating, infant massage can be learned very easily through instructional videos, books, or one-on-one training with a certified teacher.
Certified baby massage teachers are becoming increasingly more available thanks to the efforts of organizations like Hands on Babies, Littlekidz, and Touch-learn. These organizations provide certification to health professionals and therapists whose job is to aid people in becoming better parents. A certified teacher will know the proper methodology and techniques to teach parents infant massage.
One of the oldest of these certification programs was started more than fifteen years ago by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM). The organization was formed in 1981 by infant massage advocate Vimala Schneider McClure, and has made it their mission to bring baby massage back to its original standing as a respected medical art. The IAIM's training program still ranks among the most well known in the world.
Infant massage still has a long way to go before it's a normal part of main stream post-natal care. But just as the reputations of acupuncture, Shiatsu, and meditation were finally strong enough to get the attention of the medical profession, baby massage is slowly gaining acceptance. At the end of the day doctors and parents alike want what's best for our children; even if that is the ancient practice of baby massage.By: Imogen J RiceArticle Directory: http://www.articledashboard.comImogen J Rice is an Early Child Development specialist who assists new parents in learning the necessary skills to raise children. Her writing contributions are featured on a variety of online publications. More information about infant massage and training can be found at www.handsonbabies.co.uk/>Hands on Babies - www.handsonbabies.co.uk/