Benefits of Massage

Including massage into your child's routine can bring so many benefits to you and your baby, both physically and emotionally. Whether it be daily or weekly, massage is a great way to improve your well-being.

Benefits of Massage for your Baby

Physical Benefits of Massage

With massage comes the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. This release helps to relieve discomforts associated with teething, reflux and other painful conditions.
Massaging the abdomen stimulates the elimination of waste from the body and helps ease the symptoms of wind and colic and constipation.
Massage has been shown to have an effect on the body’s serotonin and melatonin which are the hormones that regulate the sleep cycle. As a result, babies that are massaged on a regular basis tend to sleep better and spend longer time in their deep sleep. 
As well as stimulating the lymphatic system, massage will stimulate the production of the body’s protective cells, which in turn will have a beneficial effect on the baby’s immune system. 
Babies have little awareness of their body structure and its interconnectedness. Massage improves left/right brain communication and enhances body awareness. 
Massage assists with the drainage of the sinuses and eases the pain related to sinus congestion. It can also promote the drainage of excess mucous from the chest. 
Numerous studies have shown that preterm and low birth weight babies that are massaged will have a greater  increase in their weight gain.  Massage stimulates the vagus nerve in the brain which in turn enhances gastric mobility. 
Numerous studies have been done that indicate that massage provides significant results for infants and children with conditions such a cerebral palsy, asthma, cystic fibrosis and downs syndrome. 

Emotional Benefits of Massaging your Baby

Massage stimulates the production of the “feel good” hormones oxytocin and serotonin and also helps to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This has a calming effect on the baby. 
Massage stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a hormone which helps to regulate mood and temperament.
Touch is one of the most developed senses a baby has - so a significant form of communication. Massage enhances the connection between infant and parent and builds trust.
 

Benefits of Massage for the Parents

Massage has been shown to reduce parental stress and anxiety. Massage results in the release of the “feel good” hormones oxytocin and serotonin and reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result of massaging, the parent will feel more relaxed and calm. 
Massage helps to increase your confidence in handling your infant and your ability to become attuned to their cues and body language.
Infant massage promotes the bonding and secure attachment between parent and baby. Setting aside some time to massage ensures you enjoy some intimate one on one nurturing interaction with your infant.
With massage a mother’s confidence grows, she begins to learn how to communicate with her infant and to recognise their verbal and nonverbal cues. It provides time for a positive nurturing interaction with her baby. The massage itself has of course the added benefit of reducing the mothers stress and stimulating serotonin and oxytocin. 
Increasingly Fathers are wanting to become more involved with their babies – practically, physically and emotionally. Massage is a very effective way of enhancing the father-infant bond through power of touch.

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