Learning Infant Massage in Massage School

Pediatric MassageCarl Sandburg had a beautiful quote about babies.  People say it many times and no doubt is written on congratulatory cards for new parents.  He said, “a baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

If you have an enduring love for babies, you can help them develop through the magic of touch and gentle massage.  You’ll be filled with pride knowing that the baby you’re touching will turn into a physically and emotionally balanced human being.

At first we thought that infant massage was a course that was integrated into the curriculum of massage therapy training, worth perhaps three or six credits.  To our surprise, infant massage is a specialization in itself, and some schools across the country are now offering full training programs in this field.  This means that infant massage is important enough so that schools offer it as a special training program.

Why Choose Infant Message as a Specialty?

The first reason is summed up in three words:  touch is vital.  Infants who are touched (or massaged) grow up less irritable and are better sleepers.

From an emotional perspective, an infant who is regularly massaged has a more stable temperament and engages in more meaningful interaction.  For babies, touching symbolizes the first signs of communication and this helps them develop motor skills and reflexes at a faster rate than infants who are touch-deprived.

Second reason:  massage makes it easier for infants to breathe on their own.  While inside the womb, infants receive oxygen from the placenta.  When they come out, they have to adapt immediately to their new environment and must learn to breathe without help.  When a baby is touched and massaged, he learns to relax.  When relaxed, babies learn to breathe on their own.

Third reason:  health experts say that massage supports the endocrine system.  Valerie Voner (LMT, CRT and RMT) wrote that “infants who receive massage have greater hormonal support, which in turn increases the activity of their vital organs.”  Ms. Voner adds, “remember, a baby’s organ are still learning how to function…outside the womb, so stimulation on a hormonal level is good.”

There are definitely other reasons why students aspiring to be massage therapists should look into infant massage as a specialization.

Infant Massage School in New Jersey

As infant massage gains in importance, numerous massage schools are now offering this special training.  The massage school in Piscataway, New Jersey – Cortiva Institute (Somerset School of Massage Therapy) is an example.

It has a Maternity and Infant Massage Program designed for massage therapists who are already certified and who wish to further their careers.  Students in this program must complete five hundred hours (500) within the 10 month period of enrollment.

You may also want to visit the web site of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) founded by Colorado resident Vimala Schneider.  The International Board of IAIM is composed of directors who come from Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and other countries and have an interesting structure (what it calls their flower structure).

In our next blog:  applying for financial aid.

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