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Why Is Infant Massage The Best Way To Bond With Your Baby?
Hello Dribblers! My name is Lesley and I am a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) with the world renowned International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM). I am delighted to have been asked by Dribble to share some of the numerous benefits of infant massage. It is a subject I am very passionate about and excited to share with you!
The IAIM Organisation
The IAIM is a fantastic organisation and was founded in 1986 by Vimala McClure. Vimala’s story is remarkable and inspiring. Vimala went to Northern India in 1973 to volunteer in an orphanage and instead of finding neglected children she found babies and children who were nurtured and loved. All children were massaged daily by the staff who worked there and as a result were thriving. Vimala took the massage practice she had learned back to the West and founded the IAIM.
Today the IAIM is a global organisation and world-class training and teaching of baby massage. It consists of tens of thousands of people from all over the world (CIMIs) who are passionate about ensuring that every baby receives nurturing touch.
As a parent we all have the big worry- what if I don’t bond with my baby? This is why I completed my training, mainly so I could learn how to massage my own beautiful baby. My elder daughter who is now 7 years old was born with a very rare genetic condition and I was advised to gently massage her to help her to relax and improve all aspects of her health. The way she and I both experienced some-much needed- relaxation and felt closer to each other during massage was a complete revelation to me. I also observed and experienced many other health benefits for my daughter, which I’m excited to share with Dribblers below!
The Benefits of Infant Massage
With my IAIM training I am qualified to teach infant massage to all parents and babies aged between 0-1 years old and also to parents and children who are aged between 1-7 years old with additional needs. So what are the benefits of infant massage? There are lots of benefits which have been scientifically proven, but more importantly, which parents and babies experience together during and after our massage sessions.
My personal favourite benefit of infant massage is the increased bonding with your child and attachment between parent and baby- When you give your baby a massage, higher levels of anti-stress hormones are produced (such as oxytocin and serotonin). These are not only produced by the baby or child but by the caregiver who gives the massage. So both parent and baby experience the increased production of love hormones. During classes, everyone is able to feel the amazing and loving sensation in the room!
The benefits of infant massage can be divided into four main categories, these are: Interaction, Stimulation, Relief and Relaxation.
· Interaction: includes bonding, promoting secure attachments and helping baby to develop communication skills. You are given the chance to spend one-to-one quality time with your baby, giving them your undivided attention. In class, when you practice the massage strokes you are encouraged to give baby lots of eye-contact, smiles, sing to them and give them lots of praise!
· Stimulation: of your baby’s circulatory system, digestive system, hormonal system, immune system, lymphatic system, nervous system, respiratory system, vestibular system and muscular development. Massage also speeds up the production of the myelin sheath which is necessary for neural pathways to develop therefore massage can also improve connections between your baby’s neurons in the brain. Pretty impressive stuff!
· Relief: Babies are constantly growing and changing which can be sore and tiring (for you and them!) Massage can help with these aches and pains which babies commonly experience including gas and colic, constipation, digestive cramps, teething pains and as your baby grows it can help with growing pains, muscular tension and physical and psychological tension.
· Relaxation: this can be demonstrated by improved sleep patterns (a fact I have heard from many parents), an improved ability of baby to calm themselves down, less hyperactivity, less hypersensitivity, decreased levels of stress hormones and of course increased levels of those lovely relaxing hormones oxytocin and serotonin.
And once you have learned the massage strokes I encourage you to keep massaging your babies when they grow. The aim is for you still to be massaging your children when they are teenagers and beyond! The benefits only ever continue.
Need Another Reason to Join?
My massage classes always include a hot cup of tea or coffee and a home baked cake; not that you needed another reason to visit! As I believe in looking after parents as much as babies. Time with your children is so precious and this special time brings you and your baby closer together now and in the future.
Classes are currently held in Dalmeny Church Halls, South Queensferry or in the LifeCare Centre in Stockbridge. Parents can just relax, be with other new parents, chat and enjoy some much needed time out J We’d love to welcome some of the Dribble community in the future!
For more information about ‘From Acorn to Oak Infant Massage’ classes in Edinburgh please visit https://www.facebook.com/fromacorntooakinfantmassage/ or contact Lesley Gould on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07931 309866.
For further information about the IAIM and where to find your nearest CIMI, please visit www.iaim.org.uk