MASSAGE

Benefits of Massage in early childhood.

  • Improves sleep and helps to regulate sleep patterns:
    Massage increases serotonin levels and helps regulate melatonin secretion rhythms which help regulate your childs sleep patterns (for more information on how melatonin is needed for sleep, please see sleep section).  
  • Enhances emotions and improves mood:
    Massage increases dopamine levels which helps regulate emotions such as anger, agrgession, temperature, mood and appetite.
    It reduces cortisol (stress hormone). Prolonged exposure of high levels of cortisol can reduce immunity, impair cognitive  performance , reduce immunity, impair cognitive performance, reduce bone density and muscle tissue. Massage can decrease these levels in both parent and child by allowing blood pressure, heart rate, digestive functioning and hormonal levels to a normal state. 
  • Benefits pre-term infants:
    Pre-term infants that receive touch therapy and massage, gain weight at a faster rate and are discharged from hospital earlier than their counterparts .
  • Improves wind, colic, reflux and constipation:
    Massage not only calms a baby but it can also stimulate a baby's digestive system helping to relieve abdominal wind.
  • Can assist in relieving sinus and chest congestion:
    Massage points on the body help drain sinuses and chest of mucus.
  • Stimulate brain development:
    Massage helps the brain develop. It does this by helping stimulate neuron pathways between the left and right brain. This allows the two to communicate more effectively.

    RESEARCH
  • Massage therapy by parents improves early growth and development. Tiffany Field; Maria Hernandez-Reif; Miguel Diego; Larissa Feijo; Yanexy Vera; Karla  Gil. Infant Behaviour and development, Volume 27, Issue 4, December 2004, pages 435-442.
  • Massage therapy by mothers and trained professionals enhances weight gain in pre-term infants. Sari Goldstein Ferber; Shaul Dollberg; Eliana Arbek; David Kohelet. Early Human Development, Volume 67, April 2002, pages 37-45.
  • Massage therapy by mothers enhances the adjustment pf circadian rhythms to the nocturnal period in full-term infants. Ferber, Sari Goldstein Ph. D; Laudon, Moshe Ph. D; Kuint, Jacob M.D; Weller, Aron Ph. D; Zisapel Nava Ph. D. Journal of Development and beavioural Pediatrics, Volume 23, December 2002, pages 410-415.
  • Infant massage improves mother- infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Katsuna Onozawa; Vivette Glover; Diana Adams; Neena Modi; R. Charwni Kuma. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 63, Issue 1-3, March 2001, pages 201-207.