Sooth your baby with touch
Author Philippa Murphy and Angie De Souza
When I Maternity Nursed in the United Kingdom one of my families employed the services of a reflexologist to gain relief for their baby. The well-qualified lady that arrived at the house taught me some of her techniques, one of which works really well with aiding the movement of waste in the digestive tract. The other helped greatly with calming. So while I admittedly started off as a bit skeptic, I do now believe that reflexology has a place in health.
So, to give you some qualified information for what you can do for your baby I turned to Angie De Souza, a qualified reflexologist and a registered Professional Member of Reflexology New Zealand. Angie is based in my home town, Oamaru, where she owns and operates Blossoms Massage and Reflexology. I have sampled her massages and reflexology first hand as a gift from a dear friend and I can assure you, it was bliss. So to anyone that lives down that way and you need some rejuvenation, Angie is your lady.
It is fair to say that there is a mixed view around reflexology. Some say there is no science to back up the pressure points and some practitioners claim that it can do a lot of things, others claim they can relieve stress which is connected to many ailments. The second belief is where I sit with reflexology. In fact for me, as a qualified Baby Masseuse I think of it more as a deep massage and who doesn’t feel less stress after one of those.
What you can do with your baby?
Angie advises that ‘before you start, if there are any medical conditions then please seek medical advice before giving a reflexology treatment.’ If all is well you can ‘give baby a gentle reflexology treatment when they are awake, or asleep for no longer than 10 to 15 minutes each time, once or twice a day. If baby experiences discomfort or pulls away, stop working on that particular area.
There are many reflexology points located on the feet that correspond to the body systems such as the respiratory, digestive, and musculoskeletal systems etc. Here is a simplified reflexology routine that you can try on baby or yourself.
- Start by relaxing and warming up baby’s feet with a gentle massage on both feet. I add to Angie’s advice here that standard Grapeseed oil that you buy from the supermarket is a great oil to massage baby with, not to mention reasonably priced.
- Next, gently rotate and stretch each toe to relax and ease tension in the upper regions of the body.
- Thumb walk gently across the upper half of the sole, below the toes, from inner foot to out, working on the respiratory regions to aid breathing.
- Massaging across the lower half of the sole helps to improve digestive function.
- Gently rub from the big toe to the heel in circular motions to release tension in the musculoskeletal areas in the body.
By applying gentle pressure and soft massaging strokes around these areas you may help bring the body back into balance, stimulate blood flow to the corresponding areas and encourage the release of endorphins to help alleviate stress.
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