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Infant Massage: The Importance of Positive Touch

Have you ever wondered if there something more you could be doing to help your patients heal more quickly, or to develop more appropriately, despite all the setbacks imposed by a premature or problematic birth? There is. It is the intentional, focused use of beneficial touch.

This hour-long presentation will give an explanation of the research behind and demonstration of using beneficial, graded, targeted sensory input to help stabilize the Autonomic Nervous System, encourage parent-child bonding, and even facilitate the emergence of reflexes necessary for successful feeding, aimed at both the novice and the experienced therapist giving them a new modality.

Not only can we help stabilize their erratic autonomic nervous systems, helping to promote stability and reduce stress, we can actually facilitate development of oral reflexes necessary for safe feeding. We have spent decades looking at the detrimental effects of the sensory overload our patients in the NICU experience. But we are only beginning to research and use small amounts of focused sensory input for the benefit of these little ones. After a brief review of the current literature on infant massage in general, we will learn and practice specific techniques that are safe to use with even premature infants, leaving with a thorough understanding of how, when, and where to employ them.


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