Infant Massage, by Suzanne P. Reese

Infant massage is an age-old practice backed by modern scientific studies that validate and confirm what humans have always known: hugs, love, cuddles and kisses are keys to thriving—emotionally and physically.

As hands-on practitioners, we know this well. We can see, hear and feel the response that nurturing and compassionate touch can bring about. The rewards are, sometimes, immeasurable.

Now, imagine yourself in a role where you are not the practitioner; rather, you are the guide—not the teacher, not the expert, simply a guide. You are a guide for families on their journey to bonding, connecting and communicating with their infants. It is a most responsible and rewarding role as a parent educator of infant massage.

This approach presents a safe, validating, respectful, noncritical, baby- and family-friendly environment for parents and caregivers to gather, learn with their babies, share with each other and participate in an ancient practice that promotes the healthy growth and development of the child and family.

National and international certifications are available to participate as a parent educator of infant massage. For many hands-on practitioners, it offers a nonhands-on opportunity to expand their practice. For those who are looking to complement their existing practices in pre- and perinatal care, it is an ideal way to follow through with parents and caregivers who have sought out massage services for themselves.

With the guidance of a certified parent educator of infant massage, families can discover greater depths to their capacities for understanding their infants and modeling the compassion and empathy we all wish to see in children. The bonus is the myriad of clinical benefits that underline healthy infant growth and development: improved sleep-wake cycles, increased circulation and healing, relief of symptoms from gastrointestinal distress, improved fine and gross motor skills, and among many more benefits, increased weight gain in preterm infants is also a highlight.
For families, reports and evidence of reduced stress, tension, depression and anxiety are evident in clinical studies. Infant massage is good for parents and babies alike, and certified educators of infant masage provide the opportunities to help families discover these benefits for themselves.

Empower yourself as a practitioner; empower families as caregivers. In the end, the little ones are empowered as valuable members of the community who are acknowledged, validated and very much celebrated. These newest members of society are born with vast positive potentials that you help parents embrace, enhance and expand through the ancient art of baby massage.

Suzanne P. Reese, Photo by Bill Milne

Suzanne P. Reese is a certified international infant massage trainer, parent educator, author, singer/songwriter and humanitarian – everything infant massage. She has an undergraduate degree in child development and has 13 years of experience in complimentary care as a holistic health practitioner and yoga teacher. An infant massage educator and trainer for Infant Massage USA, she can be reached through the Web site www.infantmassageusa.org.

Photo by Bill Milne

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