Infant Massage

Topics: Massage, Infant massage, Infant Pages: 4 (948 words) Published: March 24, 2010
Infant Massage

What really is Infant Massage? It’s massage therapy specifically for infants. Massage Therapists can do this and get a certification in it. Neonatal nurses have been doing this for years to help premature babies increase their chance of life. But in recent times many parents have started learning the techniques of Infant Massage to not only help their children, but to reap the benefits for parents. Infant Massage provides many benefits for the infant and for the parents themselves.

Infant Massage was introduced into the United States in 1978 by Vimala Schneider McClure. The original founder was a French physician named, Frederic Leboyer, who popularized it through a photojournalistic book during the natural childbirth movement. Vimala Schneider McClure was a yoga therapist in an Indian orphanage. She developed a massage program on request based on evidence that stated that premature babies had weight gain and improved neurological function after being massaged. Upon request of the childbirth educators she adapted her knowledge of Yoga, Swedish massage, and reflexology along with the Indian art of caring for infants into a routine which served as the basis for Infant Massage. In 1986 she founded the International Association of Infant Massage (Infant massage | Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine | Find Articles at BNET, 2009).

Infant Massage dates back to ancient times and was practiced by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Part of the infant’s routine care was Infant Massage. For the Maoris and the Hawaiians it was part of the infant’s bath. In these cultures touch is considered helpful both spiritually and mentally. Infant massage started before language was invented. It was a mother’s nurturing touch that sprung about this modality. It has only been in recent decades that it has received the scientific attention (Infant massage | Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine | Find Articles at BNET, 2009).

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