Guest post by Sara Rasheed
The Benefits Of Body Massage For Infants
Body massage is only for an adult is a misconception that still lurks in the modern society.
I’ve learned from rather remote cultures that just like prenatal and postpartum massage, it is a tradition to provide children with a full body massage.
In fact, it is an act that is done unto the children not only for its health advantages.It is an act of love and maternal care that is bestowed on the child by mother or a grandmother in these cultures.
So, you must have understood by now that today we have chosen to talk about the advantages of body massage for children, especially infants.
It is obvious that children crave to be cradled in the arms of their parents and feel the maternal and paternal care through touch.
It is a language that their subconscious perceives and the body recognizes.
And yet people mostly overlook what effect a body massage can have on the same child, if it is done with proper care and technique.
We all know that the touch of parent is what gives us the feeling of utmost security and it is probably one of the biggest motivations when it comes to handling the worst problems in our life.
It motivates us to do great deeds and become a great person.
But children, both toddlers and adolescents can sometimes face unusual circumstances that will have a negative effect on their growth.
In fact, even the infants can be tense due to their environment at times.
It could be the stress from the school, or even the stress that mother took when the baby was in the womb.
Children are sensitive, and therefore they are prone to getting affected by such distressing things much quicker than the adults.
You will realize that body massage is one way of relieving all that stress that is trapped inside your child’s body.
It is really important to keep these matters in consideration.
Children are eventually going to have to learn these habits.
They need to learn all the ways in which they can take care of themselves because eventually they will be on their own and adults.
If we do not teach kids how to develop healthy habits, they will not grow into adults who have strong self-care habits.
Now, let’s talk about some of the health benefits that children can have from getting a regular full body massage.
It is difficult for infants to gain weight in first six months of their life.
When you give an infant a full body massage, it will enable the baby to feel much more relaxed and the process will help with gaining weight.
To nourish the body and gain weight, it is important for the body to secrete growth hormones and the process of massage helps with gaining weight.
It also helps with providing the possibility of muscles and bone growth in the body.
A study conducted at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington suggested that infants who are routinely given a full body massage have a much higher rate of gaining weight than those who are not provided the massage therapy quite often.
Body massage is recommended by therapists across the globe.
Massage can enable the baby to digest his food quicker and it also helps with increasing the appetite of the infant.
Babies, when they are relaxed, tend to eat more food which enables them to gain weight quicker.
Relieving The Stress
It is a well established fact that body massage can relieve stress in adults.
There is no reason to believe that it would not have the same effect on babies as well. It is a very common factor in school-going children.
A researcher Maria Hernandez-Reif states that lower stress hormones not only reduce anxiety feelings but also strengthen immunity system.
A mother’s touch has a soothing effect on the baby – it makes the infant feel loved and secure. And therefore, the massage can have an immunity-boosting effect on the baby.
The immune system then tends to keep the children away from the bacteria, and viruses.
If babies are massaged regularly, it helps them with gaining a lot of oxygen which is very helpful in preventing asthma.
And the process is rewarding not only for the baby but for you as well.
As you get to spend time with your child, you will realize that it is very refreshing to hold a baby in your hands and provide it with the utmost care and affection that you have to offer.
Babies learn the motor development mechanism as they grow.
At the age of two, you can see a child get up on their feet and start to walk with wobbly feet and that is what we call a toddler.
When the child starts to walk, it is difficult for it to bear the weight of its body on his legs.
Body massage aids them with developing the strength in their legs that helps them to walk on their feet.
Many studies have shown that massage tends to help the children with motor development.
Body massage is also known to strengthen the nerves of children.
It makes children more aware of their bodies and what they can do with them. This increases the hand-eye coordination and leg-coordination as well.
Needless to say, massage therapies have a very beneficial effect on the cognitive functioning of a child.
There was a study performed at Early Child Care institute which suggested that, preschoolers tend to perform much better if they are given a fifteen minutes massage therapy before they start with their regular school day.
When children are relaxed they tend to perform much better in exams as well.
Another advantage of massaging the body is that helps removes the toxins from the body.
Also, if you massage the scalp of the child you will notice that due to increased blood circulation, more nutrients reach the brain of the child which increases their capacity to think.
No Muscular Pain
The most beneficial thing about the body massage is the fact that it reduces muscular pain to a great degree.
It helps the body with regaining the strength and reducing the muscular pain.
The massage therapy that relieves the muscular pain works in a cycle which is known as “pains-spasm-pain”.
Kids who tend to remain inactive for the most part of day can accumulate a lot of residual substances in their body which are harmful, and a full body massage can deal with this matter in an amazing way.
Sara is a psychologist by profession, and she loves massage therapies. She enjoys home-based work and travelling. She is obsessed with massage chair therapies and other relaxing techniques. She regularly blogs at mymassagechair.
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