Aromatherapy Baby Massage
Massaging one’s precious baby is soothing to both caregiver and child. Many forget to massage or think that they don’t have time in their busy lives. For stressed mothers and fathers taking a few minutes after bath or before bedtime, to massage a baby or young child goes a long way to promote relaxation, restore calmness, lower stress levels and promote a restful night. Slow gentle strokes that are fairly firm can be reassuring to a distressed baby, soothing to any child and pleasing to the one giving the massage.
It is proven to be as healing to the masseuse as it is to the recipient, slowing down heart rate, and inducing calm relaxed emotions. People often cry during or after a massage which is safe, non verbal, non sexual communication between two people.
Massage is about stroking in a firmer fashion and even pausing to hold with reassurance. Apply small quantities of oil so that there is glide – not too much oil which becomes slippery and not too little where there is friction. The rhythm should be that of slow deep breathing, smooth and slow.
How to massage?
It is best to massage under the soles of the feet with one hand over the top of the ankle & foot and the other hand applying the oil onto the sole, the firm hand above the foot makes the baby feel safe. Massage the legs, using sweeping, firm but gentle movements and wide hands. Move to the stomach and do gentle stroking movements in a clockwise direction. The stomach is very sensitive so go gently holding shoulders or arm with the other hand. Continue with arm massaging and don’t forget the hands.
Gently turn baby over onto his/her stomach and massage from shoulders down and round on the back and gently over the buttocks. Finish off with holding the arms and legs and feet. Wrap up warmly in a blanket or towel. If a mix with essential oils has been used then what is left on the hands after massage is sufficient for baby to inhale if the hand is held a few cm away from the nose.
What to massage with ?
Plain, natural vegetable oils are best for baby massage and are better than synthetic non absorbable technical oils. Essential oils need to be diluted into a safe base oil and only one to three drops per massage are required. Creams and lotions can also be used and the more natural the better.
When incorporating essential oils the few drops must be well blended into the base cream or oil before beginning to massage. Soothing oils for baby are Mandarin, Lavender, Camomile, Geranium and Neroli. Oils helpful for colds and flu and tight chests are Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree. Being stimulants these need to be used in very small doses. One drop in a base for baby massage is sufficient. Rather err on the side of caution and avoid essential oils if in doubt.
In our range we have pre-prepared KIDS KARMA – soothing and relaxing, and SNEEZES & WHEEZES kids oil – for tight chest, sniffles and blocked noses. You can order these oils now directly from this site.
More info ?
In an article published in the IJA Vol 3 no 1, the evidence of benefits of massage and aroma in an orphanage is overwhelming. Where babies had lay underdeveloped, the introduction of soft aromas, gentle music and daily massage improved sensory development and restored health of body and mind.
Reported in the article “Massage was important not only as a way to establish touch as desirable and soothe a distressed child, it also seemed to promote a deep awareness of the body’s connectedness and gently encouraged mobility”. There is much more and if you are interested to read the entire article by Louis Graham on “Oils for Orphans’ then please email me.