Infant Massage classes in Hoboken
Free infant massage classes
Lucie Snow is an infant massage instructor, certified child life specialist, and reiki practitioner. With a masters in child life her passion is to help children and families bond together and get through difficult times. Lucie thrives on seeing parents and their babies spending special time together in her massage classes. Her mojo is feel closer, sleep more, relax your baby. The time spent in her infant massage classes is priceless for the bond between parent and baby as well as relaxing for both.
Infant Massage Four Important Benefits for Baby
By Lucie Snow
A Friday the 13th in 1984 was the luckiest day of my life. As a NICU baby, it was the first time I was able to be touched and held by my mother. In that special moment my mother and I both realized the power of nurturing touch. Today I strive to help other parents and babies understand that power through infant massage.
Infant massage became valued in the United States in the 1970’s when Vimala McClure returned from a life-changing trip to an orphanage in India. She observed that the babies in the orphanage were thriving even though their nutrition and environment were extremely lacking. Vimala attributed this marvel to the fact that the babies were massaged regularly by older girls in the children’s home. When Vimala had children of her own, she developed a unique massage based on what she had seen in India, and incorporating Swedish massage, reflexology, and yoga. The phenomenon spread, more research was conducted, criteria were developed, and infant massage became a valued contribution to Western medicine and parenting today’s society.
There is critical and experiential research supporting the value of this structured maternal touch. Throughout time different societies have either embraced or neglected the value of touch, and as a result we can see a correlation between the way those societies functioned with the health of their people. But why should parents massage their babies in today’s society? Aside from the medical benefits, the bond that massage creates between the parent and child is irreplaceable. Studies show that about 35 percent of American babies are not securely attached to their caregivers. It is important to make time as frequently as possible to mark as “special” for you and your baby to touch, relax, look into each others eyes, and create a secure and unique bond.
Stimulating a baby through the sensitivity of their skin has intense overall health and developmental benefits. Specifically, different massage strokes can trigger most of the systems in a baby’s body and assist with health ailments as well as growth, sensory integration, learning ability, language, muscle development, and mind-body awareness. There are also stroke routines that can be targeted for babies with colic, special needs, or who were born premature.
The relaxation benefit of massage helps babies develop positive feelings about their body, increase their ability to endure stimulation from the world around them, and handle new sensory experiences in a positive way. After a massage babies tell us they are over stimulated and often fall into a deep and relaxed slumber. There are many other physical ways a baby can show us that they are relaxed.
The third benefit of infant massage is relief, which triggers specific baby discomfort and needs. This can include specific pains from growing, gas, muscle tension, etc. I always remind the parents in my classes that the life of a baby is very stressful. Every day they are discovering new muscles and using them for the first time, as well as seeing and hearing an abundance of new sights and sounds all at once. As much as any parent, a baby also needs the time to get relief from their busy day.
Lastly, the benefit most related to the research and history of positive touch is interaction. A parent’s touch uses all of the elements in the process of bonding with their baby. Chemicals are naturally released that trigger a parent’s nurturing reaction to promote responses that include bonding, secure attachment, undivided attention, love, and understanding.
Massaging babies has unique benefits for families that have adopted, are dealing with substance abuse problems, or have adolescent or depressed parents. It is especially valuable for babies who are neglected, abused, premature, or have been exposed to drugs. Babies born with HIV, developmental delays, colic, or reflux will also benefit. For more detailed information about infant massage and its benefits, I recommend Vimala’s book Infant Massage, a Handbook for Loving Parents.
Now that you know the benefits of infant massage it is important to find an appropriate class. An infant massage class is about you and your child. The instructor is there to guide you in learning strokes and methods. You may want to reach out to the instructor before you sign up. First off, always make sure the instructor is a certified infant massage instructor (a CIMI or CEIM). Seek out an instructor from a valued organization in the field, such as Infant Massage USA. This organization, for example, has very experienced trained teachers and an extended network. Instructors must complete an intense course with specifications and tests before becoming a CIMI. Next, you want to make sure the class you are signing up for is “baby friendly.” If your baby needs a break, feeding, or changing, it is important to feel comfortable that those needs will be respected in class. When searching for the proper course for you and your child consider location, time, personality, and perhaps private classes versus a group. If possible, ask to observe a class before you commit.
As a parent, you are the expert on your baby and your baby’s needs. Infant massage classes provide an amazing tool for parents to help both themselves and their child. Infant massage will open doors to a new experience of relaxing with your baby. Finding time in your hectic schedule to touch, sooth, and connect tenderly with your baby is time well spent, with long lasting benefits for all.