Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2010

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TEN FOR TODAY done demonstrations for teen parent groups. The county health department often has support groups." 8. BE HEALTH-CoNSCIoUS Babies are a particularly vulnerable population. Of course basic hygiene measures such as hand washing are important. But even a case of sniffles requires extra caution when working with infants. "Sometimes, when we're self-employed, our income depends on us showing up for work," Ramsey acknowledges. "Sometimes we do things whether we're really in good shape physically or not. It's sad, but some of us feel it's a necessity. But around babies, we have to put their safety and well-being first." 9. BE PREPARED "You can't turn your back even for a moment with these little guys," warns Elaine Stillerman, developer of MotherMassage professional training program, based in Brooklyn, New York. "They'll roll and fall. So you need to have all your supplies handy around you." Sinclair has a list of supplies she keeps on hand, and only part of them are actually used in the massage. Top of the list: toys, stuffed animals, and interesting things for little hands to hold, along with some good children's music. And floor pads covered with quilts make a dandy place for a massage and there's no chance of the baby rolling off. 10. CoNSIDER THE REWARDS "I'm convinced," Stillerman says, "that if every pregnant woman were massaged regularly, we wouldn't have any more war. Their babies are calmer, and with a calm baby, a new mother feels more confident about being able to manage her child. This impacts their neurological development. Babies who are massaged become more loving people. Their IQ is increased, their motor skills are increased, they're happier. It's just a win-win situation." Indeed, there's evidence that massage improves a baby's gastrointestinal functioning, improves circulation, relieves teething discomfort, stimulates weight gain, and sparks brain development. based freelance writer. Contact her at Rebecca Jones is a Denver- connect with your colleagues on 81

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