Massage therapy for infants and children goes a long way in not only helping the body develop but also enhancing the parent-infant/child bond.
Massage therapy for infants and children is highly beneficial in improving their emotional, physical and psychological well-being. According to Tiffany Field, Ph.D. of the Touch Research Institute, Miami, children must be massaged at bedtime at least thrice in a week for a healthy growth of the brain as well as the body. Besides, massage helps in easing stress from everyday life.
Types of Massage Therapies for Infants and Children
Massage therapy has been known and widely practised since ages. The heritage of massage therapy has given birth to the growth of different types of massage therapies for infants and children. Some of these massage therapies include:
This massage therapy incorporates the principles of yoga and shiatsu. By virtue of this massage technique, the therapist massages the infant or child by balancing him/her in the air. This therapy helps ease spinal decompression and enables stretching of the entire body, thereby making the body flexible.
Bamboo massage is a popular deep tissue massage by way of which the therapist uses warm bamboo sticks to massage instead of hands.
Active Release Technique or ART
This massage therapy is a therapeutic soft tissue therapy that is based on movement. This massage therapy is ideal for addressing issues linked to chronic pain and lengthening short muscles of the body.
This massage therapy only makes use of a little force to charge the deep-lying muscles. It follows the movements of martial arts.
This massage therapy uses a combination of energy work and soft tissue manipulation to ally the energetic fields as well as the physical body.
Benefits of Massage Therapy for Infants and Children
An infant or child’s muscles may become tensed or loose and may therefore, mandate massage therapy. Massaging on a regular basis stimulates the muscles and other systems of the body. For instance, massaging helps in digestion, blood circulation etc.
Massage therapy helps to improve the emotional as well as physical bonding between the parent and the child. Considering that massaging is relaxing, the infant or child will want to spend the massage time with his/her parent whatsoever.
How Massage Therapy is Administered to Infants and Children
Infant massage is usually given to infants and children by way of lotion or oil to allow the fingers to run smoothly on the infant or child’s body. Typically, an infant massage lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. Considering that an infant or child’s muscles are not as developed as that of an adult, they don’t require vigorous kneading. Ensure that you use long, rhythmic and slow strokes with just enough pressure to be comforting, but stimulating.
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