Massage Promotes Healthy Babies & Healthy Families

“It is the nature of babies to be in bliss.”
—Deepak Chopra

by Carl Johns, LMT, Mountain Medicine Integrative Wellness Center

What a simple, beautiful statement, and one of the simplest and most natural ways to achieve this is through nurturing touch — the primal need of all babies. In the world of massage therapy there are many ways to use touch, from prenatal through childhood, which has proven, positive benefits.

Prenatal massage is certainly a positive benefit for mom, and when she is feeling less stress in body and mind, the internal environment for baby is conducive to healthy development. During pregnancy, nourish the body with healthy food, plenty of rest and nurturing touch.

I used to teach a couple times a year at a massage school in Idaho, owned and run by a local chiropractor. She would always do craniosacral therapy with her patient’s babies. She would get worried calls saying, “There’s something wrong, the baby is not crying.” She would always assure them that there is nothing wrong, that the baby is just comfortable and has nothing to cry about.

This work should be done by experienced therapists and is well documented to alleviate colic, ear infections and discomforts related to the birthing process. John Upledger, the osteopath and craniosacral therapy innovator I studied with many years ago, did a lot of work with infants and young children with developmental disabilities and learning difficulties and established a solid body of evidence for positive results.

Infant massage can be done in the home by moms and dads and should be done at every opportunity. There are simple trainings for parents, but this is also simple and natural and a way to make changing time or bedtime an enjoyable experience for everyone.

I remember well my dad’s rough working hands giving me back massages at bedtime — one of the fondest memories of my childhood. Maybe that’s what led me to a career in massage therapy later in life.

Medicine and disease has been in the forefront of the news, and peoples’ minds, over the last few years. We would do well to remember the natural ways to move toward bliss and health are often the most simple — like giving and receiving nurturing touch.