The Healing Power of Touch: Bonding with your baby
By Tanya Goreing RRPr
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.
When my son was first born, two things motivated to teach others about how natural, safe and effective Reflexology techniques can be for overcoming common infant discomforts. First was the distress my 5 week old, exclusively breastfeed baby, was in as a result of gas and constipation. The doctor suggested I give him prune juice (yes – 5 weeks, exclusively breastfed!) and although I did give him a little, it was then that the little light bulb popped up above my head and I started trying Reflexology with him. The next morning, no more constipation! I knew immediately that other new moms who were overwhelmed and feeling helpless needed to know more about the benefits of Reflexology. Secondly, around the same time I heard of 25 infant who had died in China as a result of a teething medication. When natural methods existed, I couldn’t imagine why such a tragedy had to occur! After that, I began work on the Infant Reflexology workshop catered to new parents and others caring for young children.
Infant Reflexology is particularly powerful to help ease specific concerns because you are not working directly on the troublesome area. You are working with the reflex points on the feet or hands and using the nervous system to convey messages of healing and relaxation. While some infants may respond well to direct pressure on their abdomen when they are feeling the discomfort of gas, others may become very upset by the additional pain caused. This is when learning how to ease pain through Reflexology becomes very empowering to the parent. In addition, since young infants are not aware of their own limbs, Reflexology is a great way to can teach your infant about themselves and establish a connection to those body parts.
A baby’s attention span is short so using small, short routines and doing them repeatedly 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 maintain a pattern of good health and well-being. This helps your baby to remain calm, feel loved and protected as well as relieve discomforts that may arise.
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 and 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 pain, 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 Reflexologist in Cambridge, ON with extra certification in Maternity and Baby/Child Reflexology. Her practice, Soul Treatments, specializes in the optimal health of Woman and Children. To schedule an appointment call 519-220-2887
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!