The benefits of Infant Massage
- Infant Massage creates an interaction between the parent (caregiver) and the baby that can promote: bonding, secure attachment, improved verbal/non-verbal communication, pre-language communication skills, love, and nurturing touch.
- Infant Massage can help stimulate: the circulatory system, the digestive system, the hormonal system, the immune system, the lymphatic system, the nervous system, the respiratory system, the vestibular system (responsible for coordination and balance), muscular development and tone, sensory integration, and mind/body awareness.
- The strokes you will learn can help relieve: gas and colic, constipation, gastrointestinal cramps, excess mucus, growing pains, muscular tension, disorganization of the nervous system, and sensitivity to touch.
- Benefits of Infant Massage may be demonstrated by: improved sleep patterns, normalized muscle tone, increased flexibility, increased environmental coping mechanisms, regulation of behavioral states, improved ability to calm oneself, and lower levels of stress hormones.
Infant Massage by Mind Body Family
The Infant Massage courses by Mind Body Family are based on the curriculum taught by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM). At Mind Body Family, our courses are designed to help parents better understand their baby, learn how to read and respect their baby’s cues, and to enhance the connection between infants and their parents. In addition to learning the actual IAIM massage strokes, parents will also learn about behavioral states, infant cues, Gentle Movements (vital for an infant’s development, especially the connection between brain hemispheres), newborn reflexes, a special “Gas and Colic Routine”, and research-based facts about Infant Massage. (Read more about the Gas and Colic Routine and the Gentle Movements below).
The Infant Massage course taught by Mind Body Family is a 4-week course. The class is held once a week, and each class is one-hour long. This class format has been developed based on research and experience. It has been found that this format allows for the parents as well as the babies to learn, practice, and interact in a relaxed and nurturing environment. The classes are small in size to ensure that each parent gets the guidance and knowledge that they need to learn successfully.
The 4-week group course is designed for infants that are pre-crawling. This is not because Infant Massage should stop once your baby is crawling - throughout the course we will discuss many ways in which the strokes can be modified as your child grows, and how important it is to continue a connection with your child as they grow. We set the age limit at pre-crawling because as babies get older they are often more curious and more mobile which can make the class more difficult for the parents and the baby. Mind Body Family offers private Infant Massage sessions (a 3-week course) in addition to the 4-week group class. These Private Sessions are recommended for parents with older children wanting to learn Infant Massage.
Gas and Colic Routine: The Gas and Colic Routine is part of the Infant Massage course.
- Symptoms of Gas and Colic can include abdominal pain, sudden and unexplained outbursts of inconsolable crying, high-pitched screams, abdomen distention, baby draws in legs and then shoots them straight out.
- Possible causes can be medically related, dietary related, and/or emotionally related.
- The Gas and Colic Routine teaches parents relaxation techniques, comforting suggestions, and massage strokes which can aid in the relief of gas expulsion, colic, constipation, and tension.
Gentle Movements: The Gentle Movements are part of the Infant Massage course.
- The Gentle Movements are movements inspired by the principles of yoga. They are cross-lateral movements, which are vital for an infant’s development, especially the connections between the brain hemispheres.
- The Gentle Movements support coordination and balance.
- Parents will learn movements that can be performed at anytime. These movements bring flexibility, fun, and a new way of movement to babies.
To see when Mind Body Family is offering Infant Massage courses, visit our Upcoming Classes page.