Since the birth of her son, Janet has had an increased interest in helping parents and children, so pediatric massage was a natural addition to her practice.
All pediatric treatments can be booked with her at BodyKNEADS Health Centre, and infant massage and babywearing classes are also available as in-home or group sessions.
Infant massage is a beautiful practice between parent and child, that has roots in many ancient cultures. Many parents seek to learn infant massage as a way to relieve colic, and in so, discover there are many benefits.
Infant massage may:
- Relieve infant discomfort caused by gas and constipation
- Improve infant sleeping patterns
- Improve infant growth and development
- Reduce infant and parent stress
- Improve communication between infants and their caregivers
- Improve bonding (especially for non-breastfeeding parents)
During a lesson the infant massage techniques are demonstrated by the instructor on a doll. Parents follow along with their infant or a demonstration doll. Worried about how your baby would manage the lesson? Breath easy, your baby’s needs come first. If your infant is sleeping, nursing or crying we can adapt the lesson accordingly. Two adults per infant are welcome to attend (at least one parent, a grandparent, a friend or anyone providing regular care for your child). Lessons also cover when is the best time to massage your baby, and how do you know if you’re baby likes the massage.
Babywearing is the use of infant carriers (fabric wraps, or padded carriers with straps and buckles) to hold your infant or toddler against your body. From calming a fussy baby, to navigating places that are inaccessible with strollers, many describe babywearing as “life changing”.
Benefits associated with the use of infant carriers include:
- Increased levels of oxytocin in mothers. This may improve breastfeeding and bonding as well as lower the risk of Postpartum depression
- Increased bonding for non-breastfeeding parent (non-breastfeeding parents often feel unable to help and that they lack a physical bond with their infant)
- Decreased risk of flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly)
- Infant better able to study facial expressions and body language (adult perspective). They may learn languages faster.
- Independence may be established earlier
- Less physical strain for caregiver (compared to using a car seat)
Anyone who’s new to babywearing can tell you all the lingo/abbreviations and the never-ending name brands, fabrics, styles and sizes is completely overwhelming. The infant carrier (babywearing) classes can simplify all that. Participants will have the opportunity to try five of the most common carriers. This allows parents to determine which type of carrier is best for their family. Saving them the costly expense of purchasing a carrier they may not enjoy using.
The main focus of the classes is to teach proper use of the carriers, and most importantly, infant safety. Just like any piece of newborn equipment (car seats, cribs, strollers) there are safety precautions that need to be learned.
Children may suffer from many of the same conditions as adults. And it is a misconception that children will simply “bounce back”. Although a child may appear to have recovered from an injury they may have developed a compensatory pattern that could have a negative impact later in life.
Heavy backpacks, classroom postures and even poor body image can negatively impact a child/teenagers posture. Massage may help improve postural misalignment caused by shortened muscles. As well, we provide home care exercises specific to your child’s needs.
Whether your child is a dancer, horseback rider or on a sports team, all athletes can benefit from massage. The high frequency of these activities, combined with the sudden change from classroom to sports, and often insufficient stretching can lead to soft tissue injuries. Massage therapy may relieve trigger points (also known as knots) in the muscles and reduce connective tissue restrictions. This can relieve pain, reduce muscle fatigue and increase range of motion. All this can lead to better muscle performance. Massage Therapy can range from acute care (sprains and strains) to preventative care (helping your child identify problem areas, before an injury occurs)
Many children experience stress and anxiety on some level, such as when starting school, or a new social situations. Children however lack the skills to understand their emotions and manage their stress as adults do. If your child is demonstrating considerable distress, and their daily routine is being affected by anxiety, it’s time to seek professional intervention. Massage Therapy may provide a decrease in anxiety, depression, and stress hormone levels.