Massage therapy was found to speed brain development in preterm infants, particularly their visual function, according to recent research.

The study, “Massage Accelerates Brain Development and the Maturation of Visual Function,” involved 20 newborns with a gestational age between 30 and 33 weeks. Selected infants had no confounding factors, and their parents gave consent in all cases.

Results of the study showed infants in the massage group had accelerated EEG activity, as compared to those in the control group. In addition, babies who received the hands-on stimulation showed greater visual acuity than those who did not.
A full report on this research will run in the November issue of MASSAGE Magazine.