Baby Massage sessions are offered at The Orchards. The sessions are held weekly and are of one hour duration. Once the parent/carer is familiar with the technique and sequence they can adapt it to their own needs. The benefits of group work allow for discussion and personal reflection after the actual massage has been delivered and, hopefully, the child is settled and asleep, in a ‘safe’ environment. Sessions could also incorporate relaxation techniques to educate parents in regulating their own emotions.
As a safeguarding measure, Practitioners would not be expected to massage the child directly, but would instruct the parent in the technique using a jointed doll to show the actions and flexibility obtained through massage.
The Benefits of Baby Massage
The benefits for babies who receive massage, from the optimum age of 8 weeks, can have profound, positive lifelong outcomes, some of which are listed below.
- The power of touch. Touch is the first language of babies. Babies learn a lot from how we handle them; it’s not about verbal communication at this stage. It is also useful for parents who find ‘touch’ difficult.
- Introduces a level of trust in the parent-child relationship: babies learn from their carer how to regulate their own emotions, which they continue to use throughout their lives
- Eases muscle tension and stimulates the body’s natural opiates, which subdues pain: this is particularly important with babies who experience colic. Through delivery of the massage parents often experience their own sense of inner peace and relaxation.
- Puts parent more in touch with baby and strengthens the parent-child relationship, through eye contact, kissing and stroking to promote a healthy attachment
- Reduces Cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. This is helpful for both parent and child, as to provide the massage is also therapeutic.