by Rebecca Overson, LMT
Founder/Director, Salt Lake Prenatal Massage
Many of you have asked about the Infant Massage classes at Salt Lake Prenatal Massage, so I thought I'd post a little something about it here.
Consider the following:
-Touch is natural. It's the first form of communication, long before words or gestures.
-Most people, unfortunately, associate touch with either punishment or sex. It is critical that children grow up with positive, safe, nurturing touch.
-Infant massage is not really about "relaxation" like it is for adults. For me, infant massage is about helping that child get used to their body and develop a healthy physical self-image. It's also useful for calming and soothing physical and emotional discomforts.
As children grow, so much of their experience revolves around physical development and discovering what their body can do. Massage for infants and children can be an important part of their physical and personal development.
Touch is a vital nutrient! Studies on Romanian orphanages in the 80s showed that while the children received adequate physical nutrition, they exhibited signs of merasmus (wasting away)/starvation. These children spent their time lying on their backs in a crib, staring at a ceiling or a wall and received little to no physical contact. Nurturing, physical touch is MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD and children suffer without it.
Premature infants who receive regular nurturing touch (massage) as part of their care tend to grow faster and leave the hospital earlier.
Alright, that being said, please know that there are many organizations out there that teach extensive courses on infant massage. Some charge $60-$100, include multiple sessions, and charge for a textbook. I personally don't think it has to be that complicated.
Our classes are $20, 90 minutes in length (mostly to accommodate unpredictable baby schedules!) and are straight-to-the-point. You'll learn a short but comprehensive repertoire of massage moves and baby activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily care routine. No books needed - just one handout and a demonstration, plus time for practice and Q&A.
Fun, straight, simple.
I have massaged and moved my children since birth. My boys are currently approaching their 3rd and 5th birthdays, and they ask for massage all the time. It's wonderful and amazing to see how they have developed the skill of delivering and receiving nurturing touch. My 3-year-old will lie in bed with me at naptime and stroke MY cheek. ADORABLE! One of his first words at 15 months was " 'ssage?" (as in 'Massage') and he'd stretch out his limbs and hold real still. Amazing.
Email info@SLCPrenatalMassage.com to register for our next infant massage class!