Benefits of Infant Massage for the Growing Child
Guest Authored By Taylor L, MS, DT, CEIM, CIMI
The purpose of this blog is to educate others on infant massage and the benefits of learning infant massage by a certified instructor. Infant massage has many benefits for infants and even older children. Infant massage, originally developed by Vimala McClure, combines elements of Indian and Swedish massage and principles from yoga and reflexology. Massaging your child promotes a secure attachment between you and your child, develops a sense of trust and confidence, and creates feelings of being respected and valued. The most important aspect to know when learning infant massage is to always ask your infant or older child for permission to begin massaging. Other than promoting a positive relationship with your child, massages help stimulate the body and may relieve pain.
Massaging your child is beneficial because:
- Physical touch helps stimulate the digestive system, resulting in relief of gas and constipation.
- It relieves cramping, growing pains, or muscular tension.
- Massage helps relieve painful symptoms of minor illnesses, such as aches, fever, congestion, and asthma-related breathing problems.
- Infant massage promotes relaxation, which may support sleeping patterns, regulation, and behavioral states.
- It reduces stress hormones and may increase concentration.
- Massage helps stimulate mind and body awareness and promotes your child to explore their senses.
- Childhood massage supports bonding and attachment between you and your child.
At different ages, your child may respond to being massaged differently. For the older child, you may tell a story to the child, talk about the body parts, sing a song, or make a game out of it. Always respect your child’s choices when offering a massage and just go with the flow!
Why Take a Class?
Chicago has many opportunities to learn infant massage as a parent. If you are interested in taking classes, you should always check to make sure the class is with a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI). The class focuses on basics of child development, learning the strokes, practicing the strokes, and adaptations of the strokes for the older or growing child. Taking a class will help you learn and understand your infant or child’s body language and cues, improve your ability to support your child with all the benefits listed above, improve the bond and relationship with your child, and even promote your relaxation as a parent!