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More on Infant massage
I'm so excited, after finishing my training in newborn massage. Who knew how many aspects could be covered in such a short time. Imagine, in 20 minutes your infant can be sleeping better, have better digestion, be relieved of colic, have a brain development boost, improved muscle development and have higher self esteem. These are some of the class set up items we learned.
The first instruction is never use oil with a nut base, such as almond, in case of allergies. Olive oil, cold pressed is what the instructor brought as an example. Also good to use is sesame or grape seed oil, ones that are digestible. Have you ever seen a baby not put their hands to their mouth? Avoid petroleum based products, such as those with a mineral oil base; they can block the skin pores. To set up the class to teach, warm your hands with the oil, after making sure the room is warm, the colors muted, and parent or parents, are comfortable on the floor, with area under the baby well padded, Classical music or not in the background, but nothing blaring nor distracting.
Start by showing the baby your hands, and ask permission to proceed. Begin with the feet, gentle but firm strokes, starting with long strokes on the legs to aid blood circulation, followed by a certain pattern of circular strokes on the tops and bottoms of the feet, and finishing the legs with long strokes in the opposite direction. The arms are done next much the same way. The next body part is the abdomen. Besides the regular abdominal strokes, there is a pattern specific to relieving colic. The baby’s back is done while being straddled across the parents lap, and finally the face. For muscular development there is a facial stroke to aid in breastfeeding, and others specific to infants with Downs Syndrome. Oil is never used on the face and each stroke is done 3 times. Simple yoga moves are also instructed to gently flex and stretch the newborns muscles.
Ideally infant massage is taught over several sessions. The parents to return the following week with mastery of one body area have their technique critiqued, questions answered and evaluation of the prior week. To find a certified instructor go to www.InfantMassageusa.org.