Infant massage: the importance

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Infant massage

It is a practice developed in the seventies in the United States by Vimala McClure, combining some traditional Indian massages with elements of Swedish massage, reflexology and yoga. “But what really sets McClure's approach apart is careful observation of the child's reactions, to modulate the massage based on the responses received by the child»Underlines Dr. Francesca Gheduzzi, Trainer of both the International Infantile Massage Association and the Del Paesena Association.




In this article

  • How to do the massage
  • Benefits infant massage

How to learn how to do massage


To familiarize yourself with the principles and methods of this type of massage, you can follow courses held by teachers trained and graduated from AIMI (Associazione Del Paesena Infantile Massage), "The course - open to mothers or fathers - is generally divided into five weekly meetings, lasting about an hour and a half, during which the participants also have the opportunity to discuss various issues of parenting. In this sense it is also a rare and precious opportunity to exchange information and experiences »says Dr. Gheduzzi. The goal, however, is to ensure that parents continue to massage their babies even at home.


20 PHOTOS

The newborn massage: the benefits of this "pamper" for the baby

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We asked Francesca Gheduzzi, Trainer of IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) and of AIMI. (Associazione Del Paesena Infant Massage) to explain us ...


Infant massage: advantages and methods

Massaging a baby offers various benefits:

  • stimulates various systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal);
  • provides relaxation and relief to some minor discomfort such as teething and constipation;
  • improves parent-child interaction.

"The relational aspect is what is most important to us" specifies Dr. Gheduzzi. «In fact, massage helps parents and children to get in touch, get to know each other and communicate better».

1. When to start

«Infant massage can be performed from birth to 12 months, but even beyond, because it changes according to the stages of the child's development and grows with him» explains Trainer.

2. Where to do it

"Many parents think of the changing table as an ideal place, but in reality this situation risks being too dynamic and dispersed" says Dr. Gheduzzi. «Also for greater safety, we recommend instead of lying on the ground, on a carpet, with the baby in front, resting on comfortable cushions. Just like we do in courses ».

3. The best time
There are no fixed rules, it can be done at any time: after a bath, after a nap, before bed. However, the ideal would be to identify a moment of "quiet wakefulness", in which the little one does not have to respond to internal needs (hunger, sleep, cold or heat) and is ready to enter into a relationship with mum or dad. It is preferable not to massage while the baby is sleeping or crying. Better to avoid it even in case of fever.

4. Ask for permission

First, the parent greases his hands with almond oil and rubs them in front of the child, who will learn to recognize this gesture as the beginning of the massage. So, as a form of respect, looking into his eyes, she asks for permission to massage him. "Even if he is very small, a child has a thousand ways to communicate whether he wants to be massaged or not," says Gheduzzi.

5. The sequence

It starts by massaging the legs, then the abdomen (with a specific sequence also designed to relieve colic), the chest, arms, face and back. The massage can be concluded with a series of gentle exercises inspired by yoga and stretching. "It is difficult to establish a priori how long a massage lasts and which parts to massage more: it will be parent and child to decide, from time to time".

TAG:
  • massages
  • cuddles
  • Relax
  • first year
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