The main task of massage can be formulated as follows: it helps the body of a growing baby to properly debug his work, and it is about both the body and the psyche. This amazing effect is explained by the fact that a lot of nerve endings – receptors – are embedded in human skin.
Impact on them through a complex chain of connections between different systems and organs leads to useful changes “on the ground”: the level of stress hormones decreases, and the baby becomes calmer; his immune system is strengthened – and he is less likely to get sick; easier the digestive system works; faster metabolism. These properties of massage explain why it is necessary even for healthy babies.
- In the classic children’s massage there are four main methods: stroking, rubbing, kneading and vibration (it is caused by quick movements with a brush).
- For babies up to 3 months, the massage session also includes a special gymnastics – all of its exercises are based on those unconditioned reflexes that remain with the child all the time, starting from birth.
For example, let’s focus on some of the beneficial results that massage can help children achieve.
- It improves the nutrition of tissues due to the fact that the effect on the skin helps the blood capillaries to expand, their capacity increases and the body receives more nutrients and oxygen for growth and development.
- Massage trains the muscles of the child, which together with the joints and ligaments help him learn to move. But this is not all – it enhances the movement of lymph and venous blood throughout the body, and with them harmful metabolic products come out of the tissues.
- Massage improves the regulation of heat in the body, because during the procedure, the blood vessels expand, releasing heat outside, and after it ends – they narrow. This means that the massage is also an excellent tempering agent that will protect the baby from hypothermia and overheating.
- The role of massage is great in regulating the work of the nervous system of babies. For example, a huge number of impulses that come during a session from skin receptors to the cerebral cortex helps develop the departments located there. Their well-being, in turn, leads to the fact that the work of all internal organs is improved, causing improvements visible to the eye – for example, you notice that the baby has become clever and easy to move.
Since massage has a great influence on all organs and systems, it is not surprising that sometimes it becomes a medicine. Pediatricians prescribe it, if the small patient needs muscle tone correction (increased and decreased), help to catch up with a small delay in learning new movements, cope with congenital hip dislocation, dysplasia of the same joint, clubfoot, stiff muscles, and X-shaped legs, umbilical hernia.
If your pediatrician does not mind – you can do a baby massage yourself. Master it will help you master class from the magazine “Happy Parents”.
It is important to remember a few rules:
Massage movements should coincide with the direction of the flow of lymph: hands should be stroked from the hand to the shoulder, and feet – from the foot to the groin.
- During the massage, do not touch the armpits, groin area, navel, nipples, genitals and joints.
- Being engaged in the stomach, do not touch the area where the liver is located (right), and patting on the back – the kidney area (at the lumbar level).
- Until the child is 1.5 months old, of all massage techniques, use only strokes.
- Take care of good lighting during the session, in time to notice changes in the skin color of the child.
- Massage only if your baby has clean and healthy skin: otherwise there is a risk of infection.