Giving a massage to a baby, girl or boy is a nurturing touch for the soul. Investment for you to enjoy physical and emotional well-being. You only need a few minutes a day and your hands. “Through them, you establish a family dynamic of love and communication”, says Ana Laura Ponce Cuspinera, Mexican trainer of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM).
The representation of IAIM in our country is in charge of the Network of Educators of Child Massage Mexico (REMI). The massage consists of pressing some parts of the body with adequate intensity. When this technique is applied to babies, “non-verbal communication is achieved with them. An affective bond is created, emotional well-being is generated, and stress is reduced”.
The expert recommends starting to massage your baby from day one until your son or daughter leaves home. If you want, you can do it all your life because physical contact is necessary and important.
Some of the multiple benefits of infant massage are:
- Regulate and strengthen physiological functions.
- Improve muscle tone.
- Reduce gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Stimulate the immune system.
- Relax and improve the state of wakefulness and sleep.
According to the study, Effects of therapeutic massage on anxiety and stress in the pediatric population, published in the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Colombia, therapeutic massage benefits the baby.
Research indicates it decreases cortisol levels, a better adaptation of physiological responses to stressors, weight gain, and a more significant behavioral and sleep organization.
It also benefits mom and dad
Each family must find the ideal moments to perform the massage. It will be necessary to make eye contact with the baby and respect his rhythm because sometimes he will not be willing, especially if he is hungry or sleepy.
Massaging the baby is an activity that the mom or dad should do to create an experience that allows both parents and children to exchange sensations and feelings. It is a way of enriching affective communication.
Ponce Cuspinera mentions that, through touch and caresses, a loving bond is created with the children, and the hormones that generate dopamine are activated and, consequently, emotional well-being, “Parents will be able to understand their babies better, read their signals and learn to communicate with them”.
It has also been proven that if mom or dad massage their baby, they can:
- Reduce pressure and stress levels.
- Increase awareness of their work.
- Build self-confidence.
- Offer quality time to their little ones.
- Establish a tradition with social impact.
Baby massage, an ancient tradition
Infant massage is a tradition that has existed for many years in various cultures. At REMI, the technique they use is the proposal created by Vimala McClure, founder of the International Association of Infant Massage, found in 70 countries.
This technique takes up aspects of Hindu and Swedish massage, yoga, and reflexology and seeks to make men and women aware of the importance of loving children through physical contact. “Create less violent generations and build more loving and inclusive families, communities, and societies”, says Ana Laura Ponce.
Likewise, they are interested in girls and boys growing up with the security and independence they need to develop in society as socially responsible adults, “In this way, we want to counteract domestic violence, intolerance, abandonment, and child abuse; then, if you visit a prison and look at the files of the inmates, you will see that these people lacked something in their childhood”.
Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver