Project Description

Developmental Massage

Developmental Massage

Infant massage is so powerful.  Its extensive role in bonding and attachment is widely known, but for me as a developmental therapist, fundamentally it is also one of the earliest forms of play.  Here babies can start to make sense of the world around them through positive touch and nurturing relationships.  Regular massage practice can also be a golden opportunity to promote movement, allowing babies to be free to move and wriggle without the physical restrictions of equipment and a change from soft supportive cuddles, whilst still feeling safe and secure, loved and valued.

Taking a break during the pandemic lead me to reflect on how I could combine my primary passions into an independent class structure that compliments the signature baby massage programme I have loved running, without detracting from its gentle and nurturing ethos.  This new programme from me introduces through massage, positioning and handling, the very first building blocks of Play and Movement to enable new families to Grow together and I can’t wait to bring this to the families of Norfolk.

During our 5 weeks together, we will:

  • Watch and observe your infants communication and behaviour to determine the best time to introduce massage and play
  • Gently introduce massage strokes building up to a full body massage over the duration of the course
  • Explore specific routines for the relief of gas and wind
  • Consider how we can adapt our massage through age appropriate play to maintain a physical connection with our children as they grow
  • Explore positions for play to optimise movement and development, including tummy time
  • Discover what play for infants looks like and how to promote infant led play

Developmental massage classes are not just about learning strokes, they are designed to facilitate a journey of physical connection, bonding and attachment.  There is often time for informal discussions to help get the most from the course and other topics that arise during the sessions.  Sessions can therefore last up-to 75 minutes.

This is a very good question and the most frequently asked question I get.

For me the newborn weeks are so precious. A time for connection and communication, healing and repair and of adaption and adjustment and not just for the baby but the whole family. I am passionate that parents know they are enough and that young babies do not need stimulation outside of what they can give.

For me newborn classes should support this transitional phase and I haven’t come across any yet that I feel offer this, except baby massage.  Therefore the ideal age to start this course is between 6 weeks to 4 months, however I am happy to take babies before 6 weeks, if parents understand that their baby is likely to sleep and feed through out most of the course.  I am also happy to take older babies particularly if their development is at the pre-rolling stage.

I do find that most babies are around 6-8 weeks when they join a course, mainly because committing to something at a certain time each week before this time can seem daunting/impossible.

I am afraid not, infant massage (and developmental massage) is a course (rather than a series of classes), the sessions build each week on the skills learnt in previous weeks until a full body massage is learnt. Teaching the course over 5 sessions allows parents to slowly introduce the massage strokes to the baby and learn for themselves when it is best to massage their baby. More often than not this is not during the actual classes as their baby may be sleeping or feeding. An unsettled baby will not relax and be receptive to massage and persisting with massage during these periods can lead to some parents/carers believing that their baby does not like the massage. However, it is more likely that it is just not the right time.

The purpose of infant massage classes are therefore not to get lots of hands on massage practice but to be able to attend to your baby in a supportive and nurturing environment where you can learn the strokes and build them into your baby’s daily routine, when it best suits them. Taster sessions would therefore not give you or your baby the time and information needed to validate why you should embark on a full course.

Face to Face classes are back up and running, for more information on what these courses will look like please see the attached Baby Massage Operating Procedure.

For course dates and to book click here.

Instructors

Baby Massage Instructor Norwich
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