Advantages of the IAIM Infant Massage Program
Did you know that parents who take a class with IAIM learn much more than just the mechanics of a massage routine? Our program involves many different styles of touch, movement, interaction and communication.
Both research and anecdotal evidence from families have shown that there are many ways that babies and families may benefit from infant massage.
They can be grouped into four categories: Interaction, Stimulation, Relief and Relaxation.
Interaction in Infant Massage May Include:
- Promotion of bonding and secure attachment
- Verbal/non-verbal communication
- Development of trust and confidence
- Using all the senses
- Feelings of love, respect, and being valued
Each Massage May Stimulate:
- Circulatory and digestive systems
- Hormonal and immune systems
- Coordination and balance
- Learning and concentration
- Muscular development and growth
- Mind and body awareness
Parents May Find that Infant Massage Helps Relieve:
- Gas and colic
- Constipation and elimination
- Growing pains and muscular tension
- Teething discomfort
The Massage Promotes Relaxation which May be Shown Through:
- Improved sleep patterns
- Increased flexibility and muscle tone
- Regulation of behavioral states
- Being calm and being able to calm themself
- Reduction in stress hormones
Video: The Benefits of Infant Massage
More about Bonding
Bonding has been defined as a “unique relationship between two people that is specific and endures through time.”
Touch is a very powerful element in human bonding. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and prolonged eye contact are also important elements of bonding. Infant massage encompasses and supports all these vital aspects of bonding.
Delayed bonding may occur due to situations such as premature birth, recovery from caesarean, medical complications, adoption, lack of physical and emotional support and postnatal depression. In these cases, infant massage can help families recreate the elements of bonding, which may help a parent and baby fall in love with each other.
Massage may be helpful in encouraging the connection between parent and child as children grow. It may facilitate deeper understanding, integration and the connection with parents or caregivers. Some families have found that massaging their baby is particularly helpful in enhancing the bond with children with special needs.
Massage gives fathers a chance to connect and interact with their child on a deeper level than the usual day-to-day contact might provide. Fathers are always welcome in infant massage classes and some instructors even hold a special father’s class during their course.
You can find IAIM Instructors in your area by clicking on your country’s IAIM Chapter. To find a chapter near you, go to International Representation.