Tonight on the blog I’m joined by the lovely Alisha, who has a heart-warming story to share about her gorgeous daughter, which led her down the path of Infant Massage. If you’re wondering why you should look into infant massage with your own baby (it isn’t hard to start!), check out Alisha’s amazing story and her quick tips to get you started. Thanks for sharing with us Alisha! xx
Hi, my name is Alisha Harris and I just wanted to introduce myself and talk about why I love infant massage so much. The photo below is my beautiful daughter Aria. She is one year old now and such a happy girl. She absolutely loves to be massaged, and although it’s relaxing, she sometimes finds it a funny experience.
Aria was born with an illness called Pierre Robin Sequence and has had to have many surgeries, but one surgery, in particular, found she had a hole in her heart which caused her to have a stroke. It was such a scary time, as I was told so many things, such as, “she may not be able to walk”, “she may have speech issues” and even, “she may have cerebral palsy”. As with any mother, I was doing a lot of research to find ways to help Aria and was continuously drawn to Infant Massage and all its benefits.
Every night I would massage Aria, focusing on her left side (the stroke was on the right but affected her left). At the very least it was a consistent avenue for us to strengthen our bond through comforting touch, and verbal reassurance.
She really responded positively to these sessions, using her left hand to pick up toys and kicking her legs- both legs!
After one year of working with Aria and massaging her I have been advised by her medical team that the stroke has not affected her at all. I believe that the Massage and positive calming effect it had on her has helped Aria significantly.
Heart-warmed and motivated by the positive experience we’d had, I was passionate to share what we had learned with others, and went on to formally study Infant Massage and Baby Yoga. I am now a qualified instructor, teaching the relaxing techniques and lymphatic exercises that helped us so much, and am excited to help other parents who are in a similar situation, or who perhaps have babies that are suffering colic or reflux, or who might just be looking for a calming, bonding activity.
Benefits of Infant Massage
Infant massage can have many benefits such as:
* Enhances coordination
* Improves sleep and regulates sleep patterns
* Improves wind, colic, reflux and constipation
* Reduces the stress hormone in children and their parents
* Reduces crying time
* Relieves sinus and chest congestion
* Enhances emotion and improves mood
* Helps with the bond between parents and baby
* Great for preterm infants
Simple Techniques for Infant Massage
It is important to note that there are significant differences between massage for adults and massage for infants. It is vital to understand the correct strokes, ideal timing and length of massage to avoid over-stimulation.Here are some simple steps to Massaging your baby to get you started
Here are some simple steps to Massaging your baby to get you started1. Find a quiet space each day to preform baby massage
1. Find a quiet space each day to perform baby massage.
2. Before beginning massage, baby should be making eye contact showing you that they are ready to receive a massage.
3. To perform your infant massage, you should use cold pressed oils, free from soap, fragrance or common irritants.
4. Baby Massage should begin with the legs and move to the buttocks, abdomen, chest, arms, face, head and then the back.
5. Massage the abdomen in a clockwise motion from left to right, as this will help with colic, wind and constipation.
6. Begin chest massage by placing both hands on the chest to see if baby’s arms remain open, signalling that they’re happy to begin. The permission sequence is a very big part of infant massage.