Touch is the first sense to develop, and learning to massage your baby is a wonderful way for you to meet their basic need for human contact and tender loving care. Baby massage serves to strengthen the loving bond between parent and baby by teaching easy-to-use massage strokes that encourages relaxation, supports their physical development, helps to ease specific complaints and enhances communication between both of you. Just a few sessions of massage can help you to read your baby’s wants and needs by observing their baby ‘cues’. Learning to read these can help to increases parental confidence in understanding their baby, not only in the massage situation, but in all contexts.
The Benefits of Infant Massage
There are numerous benefits of massaging your baby and include some of the following;
Massage and Infants with Special Needs
Although massage is beneficial for all babies, it is a very useful support for a wide range of disabilities and conditions such as Down's syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Visual and Auditory impairment and for babies with delayed development. Massage will not exuberate a condition in anyway. In fact, regular massage can be a useful early intervention where a baby is lacking muscle tone, or where their muscles and joints are stiff, as massage has shown an improvement in muscle tone and circulation for babies with muscular impairment. Regularly massaging babies with visual impairment has shown to encourage development of their sense of touch which is of huge importance in helping them to define the outside world. Singing and talking to baby during massage allows them to read facial expressions and may help them to pick up on the vibration of your voice. A one-to-one session might be helpful initially so that you can both receive undivided attention.
If you are the guardian of an infant or child with special needs please contact Cardiff charity www.touchtrust.co.uk / 029 2063 5660 for a wealth of support, advice and understanding.
Introducing Baby to Massage at Home
The best time to introduce massage at home is in the early weeks. This usually takes place within 1-2 weeks from birth. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about this.
Infant massage has shown to be very beneficial to pre-term babies and their guardians. However you may be advised to wait until baby has reached their due date before commencing any form of treatment. Please consult with your Health Visitor or Midwife for further advice.
Introducing Baby to Massage in Class
It is advisable to wait until your baby is about 6 weeks old before attending a class session, as very young babies may find the environment too busy. This time-frame is also a bit more practical for Mum, especially so if she is recovering from surgery.
Classes are informal, relaxed and supportive and are a great way to meet other parents and babies. Each week you will learn to massage, soothe and stretch a different part of baby. At the beginning of every session we will recap on what we learnt the previous week, and then move on to the next sequence of strokes. By the end of week 3 you will have learned to incorporate these massage strokes into a whole body massage routine and we will repeat this routine every week thereafter so that it feels familiar and comfortable to you both.
Towards the end of our time together I will teach you to use nursery rhymes as part of your massage routine, particularly helpful for keeping older babies engaged!, as well as some advanced massage strokes that can be used to ease specific complaints such as colic, congestion, digestive issues and unsettled baby. Further advanced strokes can help to stimulate baby during the day to encourage a better night-time routine.
Detailed hand-outs will be supplied each week, along with Organic Massage Oil, Cushions, Blankets and a mat to lay baby on during massage. There will also be light refreshments for you to enjoy at the end of each class. Class duration is 1 hour and there are 6 weekly classes in total.
The next class will commence Saturday 23rd January 2016 in the new Library Buiding, Caerphilly. Places are limited to ensure one-to-one attention. Please contact me to book your place.
Holistic massage is a supportive, relaxing and rebalancing treatment that works to relieve muscular tension while encouraging your mind to slow down and your breathing to deepen. This type of massage is both soothing and nurturing, and creates a safe space for wellness on every level. This therapy can be combined with reflexology for increased well-being.
Archangel Therapy is a sacred treatment that is only known and practised by about 25 people in the world, to date! Using 2 sets of the ancient Platonic Solid crystals on each of the 7 major chakras, this gentle therapy will help to soothe, cleanse, ground and balance, and serves to lovingly nudge you back on your rightful path. This therapy can also be combined with reflexology or massage for increased well-being
Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage is an award winning reflexology technique that focuses on stimulating the lymphatic reflexes on the feet. The aim is to cause an effect on the lymphatic system in the body so that the symptoms associated with secondary lymphoedema and other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, migraine and sinusitis can be effectively treated.
Spinal Reflexology is a powerful form of reflexology based on stimulating the spinal reflexes on the feet. Each individual vertebra will be treated to help identify any nerve roots that are out of balance. A nerve root exits through the vertebrae to reach specific organs and muscles. If a nerve root is imbalanced not only can it affect the functioning of the spine, it can also prevent specific organs and muscles from functioning correctly. This may be the reason why you are experiencing other health issues, and conversely, why other health issues may be causing your back pain.