By Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator
The benefits of a simple touch are felt the moment contact is made. It relaxes, lowers the blood pressure, slows the heart rate, boosts the immune system and eases anxiety. Close your eyes for a moment and remember what it is like to have someone stroke your hair or give you a genuine hug. Those simple gestures can calm, comfort and express caring instantly and make a person immediately feel better – either physically or emotionally. It is a form of communication that goes beyond what any words could.
For an infant who has been embraced within his mother’s womb for nine months, the power of touch is not only desired, but necessary for normal development.
As a parent, you have the power at your fingertips to help your child grow!
Learning forms of healthy touch with your infant is an extension of the healing power you already possess and will help you to feel confident that your motions and movements are beneficial to your infant. As you bond with your baby through daily massage and reflexology techniques, you will start to tap into your parenting instincts and respond more confidently to your baby’s cues (communication).
The ideal time to do infant massage or reflexology is when baby is in the quiet alert state. In the early days, weeks following birth this time period will be very short. But as your baby grows, this time period will also increase. Starting with small routines and doing them daily or even throughout the day will help you to bond with your baby over and over. It will create a positive state of balance for the body which will help establish a pattern of good health and well-being. This helps your baby to remain calm, feel loved and protected and relieve stress.
Your infant is not the only one to benefit from this experience! The sense of touch will be powerful to you as well. It will relieve your stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, regulate your heart rate and create an overall sense of relaxation. Since most of what we experience as a new parent is very overwhelming, seeing your infant respond positively to your touch can be very empowering. When working with an infant, especially one who is experiencing discomfort, being relaxed and at peace yourself is the best medicine you can provide. Remember this is a positive time for both you and your baby. There is no reason to feel rushed or pressured. Go slow and work within your baby’s limitations. Do not force movements but rather respond to your baby’s cues. If now is not a good time, there will be another chance to try later. Use your instincts and good judgment and rest assured that as long as you have positive intentions and use healthy touch, the simple fact that you are bonding with your baby will have powerful healing benefits! Have fun with it and enjoy your baby!
About the author:
Tanya Goreing is a trained Baby/Child Reflexologist and Infant Massage Instructor. Her clinical practice, Soul Treatments, is located in Cambridge ON and specializes in the optimal health of Women and Children. She regularly offers workshops to help new parents so they can learn about healthy touch and so much more! To schedule an appointment call 519-221-0155. To learn more about her services, visit her website at www.soultreatments.ca
By: Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator, Infant Massage Instructor
I think I’ve mentioned before, my goal is to “change the world”. With that in mind, I quickly realized once becoming a mother that the best way to go about that goal was to start with our children, and making healthy lifestyle choices that will enable them to grow up healthier and happier. I could talk forever about the various lifestyle choices one could make in the best interests of their children, but today I’m going to focus on the benefits of alternative health!
I was pregnant when I started my journey to become a reflexologist. My main goal at that time was just to have my own business with flexible hours that would allow me the freedom to walk my child to school, and be there at the end of his school day to pick him up. It didn’t take long to realize that reflexology would play an even greater role in our life! 5 weeks postpartum my exclusively breastfed child was in horrible pain from digestive issues (gas and constipation). I felt helpless, vulnerable and panic stricken at my lack of knowledge to help my child. I did much of what any “normal”, sleep deprived new mama would do. I called the doctor’s office (where the secretary assured me that this was very normal, even for exclusively breastfed babies, and if I was bothered by it I could give him prune or pear juice), I called my friends (bring on the fennel tea!), I cried. 5 days in, after trying everything people suggested, the lightbulb went off and I decided to try reflexology. And I was rewarded with results – that were obtained safely, naturally and effectively. I could hardly contain myself and knew I had to teach other new moms how they could do this as well! The postpartum period is stressful enough. It was time to give new parents some extra tools to empower them.
At home, we implemented regular reflexology into our routines after that. Until of course the time came when he could get away from me!! That child never sat still for a minute once he figured out how to move. I was so disappointed that our bonding time over reflexology was going to come to an end. But, two years later, my heart melted when he handed me his feet one day and said “Mommy, rub my feet please?” Words of joy to a mama reflexologists ears!
Now, as a young boy, he understands the benefits of touch therapies very well. He has felt them, he has seen results, he hears me talk about them, he has learned that relief doesn’t come specifically from a medicine cabinet. He is so healthy that he actually tries to play sick sometimes because he sees that other kids are off school lots for illness! (We reward him with special days off school instead, health days of fun!!) For the times he does feel a bit “off”, like a tummy ache, his first request is for a tummy massage. If I happen to be under the weather or not having a great day, he will often massage my back or feet or head to try and help. To me, that means I am doing my job – not only as a parent, but as a health care practitioner! Spreading the benefits of touch therapies with the younger generations so they can grow up healthier. Healthy children are our future, and we can help build that future today!
Tanya Goreing is a trained Baby/Child Reflexologist and Infant Massage Instructor. Her clinical practice, Soul Treatments, is located in Cambridge ON and specializes in the optimal health of Women and Children. She regularly offers workshops to help new parents learn about healthy touch and so much more! To learn more, visit her website at www.soultreatments.ca
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!