May 14th, 2014 • Posted by Absolute Nirvana • Permalink
A recent study shows massage therapy helps babies who are born too early. Preemies, which are born at least three weeks before the 40 week pregnancy term, are often troubled with health problems.
Preemies are closely monitored in newborn intensive care units, but even small stresses can become big problems for these little ones. From heart problems to separation anxiety, preemies are up against a fair amount of odds.
As research continues to help a growing number of preemies lead normal lives, one study shows the significance of massage.
A massage therapist, trained in baby massage, gave preemies two 20-minute massages everyday for a month. The results from the University of Utah study showed improved heart rate and reduced stress, particularly in baby boys.
Researchers speculate hormone levels may be the reason why boys receive more benefit from massage than girls, but the study does not offer any scientific reason for the varying response.
Other studies have shown massage can help babies of all sizes with weight gain, bone density and improved immune response. Some hospitals offer classes in baby massage, which allows parents to understand the techniques needed to give their little one a massage at home. If you're interested, ask your doctor if such a program exists at your hospital. If not, ask us to point you in the right direction.