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
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!