Babies and Therapeutic Massage Baby Massage is a growing trend in therapeutic massage. It is simple, free and can be performed anywhere. It has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine in India. This dates from around 1800 B.C. There is also a traditional Chinese form of Baby Massage. This is Infant Tui Na. Western massage therapy for infants dates only form the 1970s. It has become more popular in the 21st century. Some parents combine baby massage with baby yoga. This is all about using positive touch to help heal and comfort young children. It is part of the growing trend of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). It is also common to learn the practice within a hospital. You can also read on the subject, watch videos and take instructive from an expert in the profession. Babies and therapeutic massage are a beneficial combination for the infant and the mother. Infant massage is also an excellent way for fathers, siblings and relatives to spend some quality time with the baby. It provides an intimate and fun experience for all involved parties. It is particularly good therapy for premature infants. Research on baby massage and premature infants reached the conclusion of a positive co-relation between increased development and massage. Infant massage promotes increased weight gain in premature children. This increases their chance of survival. While doing so, therapeutic massage provides positive touch. This increases the bonding of parent and child. Touching on this level also provides comfort and promotes a sense of well-being for both mother and child. Baby Massage has various other benefits. It helps the infant adapt to the new environment. It is useful for those doctor’s visits – soothing and helping overcome the trauma of medical intrusion. It is a bonding device for mother and child. Sometimes, the bonding produces decreased post-natal problems, such as depression. The use of infant massage may help babies through bad times. Massaging around the jawline may decrease the pain from teething. Gentle massage of the tummy helps alleviate the soreness of colic. Infant Massage is all about gently reducing the pain and discomfort of infants. In doing so, it helps alleviate the distress of the parents. Baby Massage is a gentle art. It requires the caregivers make sure it is performed properly. A baby massage requires time. You should not be in a hurry. It also demands the right mind-set. You need to relax if your baby is to relax. When you start, make sure you and the infant are in a comfortable position. Work first on the front. Start with the head. Using small circles work outwards from the forehead. Cover the entire area, including the jaw line before moving on to the chest. Warm up some natural oil in the palm of your hands. You can use scented or nonscented versions. Stroke the infant’s chest gently. Next, move to the arms. You can roll these between your hands. Be sure you include each finger in the massage. After completing the arms, you turn to the tummy. You massage the abdomen from the right to the left side before moving on to the legs. As with the arms, you roll first one, than the other between your hands. You next take each foot in hand. You gently massage them, trying not to tickle. It is now time to turn the baby over. Be careful with the neck. First, you gently massage from one side of the back to the other. You then glide your hands down in a single, gentle motion from the infant’s shoulders to her or his feet. You may then want to kiss or blow on the belly. This makes it more fun. The Easter, Asian or Oriental form of Baby Massage is Infant Tui Na (Tuina). It is a Chinese form of Acupressure. In Infant or Pediatric Tui Na, you push and grasp specific points. It requires special knowledge of the Chi or Qi - the energy force, and the channels or meridians. In Infant Tui Na, the practitioner needs to be aware of two things. First, the energy channels are not fully developed at this stage of growth. Second, the points and pathways for infants differ from those of adults. A massage therapist cannot use the same “map” for both adults and children. One more factor for consideration is the amount of finger pressure. As with Western Massage, the depth and strength of pressure must be substantially lighter than the technique utilized in adult massage. In both categories of therapeutic massage, what matters is the health and safety of the infant.