Infant Massage workshops
There are many, many reasons to massage your baby, but I believe the most important reason is that it is really, really fun. Feeling your baby's busy body slow down and ease into your touch is a unique joy. We all know how good it feels to be touched by someone who loves you—why not give that to your baby, right from the start?
In addition to the joy that infant massage can bring to you both, there are a huge number of other benefits. See below for some of the many reasons why caring touch is vital for both parent and baby.
I teach both small group and one-on-one workshops, at your house or my studio. In each of our sessions, I demonstrate a series of simple strokes and stretches, and then you practice with your baby. We build a routine for the legs, arms, abdomen and chest, face and head, and back. You then can combine these in any way that suits you and your baby, to give a full-body massage or to offer relief and comfort in particular areas.
I recommend starting as soon after birth as you are ready, since it is a wonderful routine to build into your relationship. And while massage can prove a little more challenging as your baby starts to sit up, and crawl, and walk, the benefits are just as wonderful; with a variety of modifications and a willingness to be flexible, we can use infant massage effectively even as they grow older. In addition, a key component of our workshop is reading the cues of your baby, so that you know when they are ready to receive the work, regardless of their age.
- Small group workshops meet once a week for four sessions. Cost is $175 per family.
- One-on-one workshops meet for three sessions, at your convenience. Cost is $400.
- Each session is between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the needs of the babies.
- All parents and other caregivers are welcome. (As I can attest, infant massage is especially great for dads; particularly in our touch-averse culture, creating an open, intimate non-verbal form of communication with our children can alter our visions of what it means to be a man, and can foster a healthier sense both of our children’s bodies and our own.)
Below are just some of the reasons why infant massage is great, courtesy of the Loving Touch Foundation.
For parents, infant massage:
- Provides the essential elements of bonding and attachment—eye contact, touch, voice, smell, movement, and thermal regulation.
- Encourages pre-verbal communication between you and your infant.
- Helps ease the stress of working parents separated from their child during the day.
- Enhances your skills as parents, and helps you feel more confident and competent in caring for your children.
- Offers a tool for understanding your child's unique rhythms and patterns, and teaches you how to read your infant's cues and recognize their states of awareness.
For infants, babies and children, massage:
- Promotes relaxation.
- Helps babies to self-regulate, which reduces crying.
- Can relieve congestion, gas, and colic.
- Improves overall functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Encourages deeper and more sound sleep.
- Helps to improve pain management; can relieve discomfort from teething.
- Helps to normalize muscle tone.
- Improves circulation of blood and lymph, thereby increasing oxygen and nutrient flow to cells, as well as flushing of toxins.
- Enhances immune system function.
- Improves midline orientation.
- Deepens sensory and body awareness.
- Stimulates the release of growth hormone, which can promote weight gain, especially in premature infants.
- Reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Promotes social, emotional, and cognitive development.
- Creates a special time of communication that fosters love, compassion, and respect.