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Liddle Kidz Advisor - Children’s Health Articles | by Tina Allen

Infant vs. Pediatric Massage: What's the Difference?
What is the difference between infant and pediatric massage? Is there truly a difference? This all depends how you define the term infant and how you define pediatric. If you are working in a pediatric hospital or healthcare environment, some will say that the word pediatric is an "umbrella" term that covers all of the patients in that facility from birth to age of discharge from the hospital (often 18 years of age).

Specializing in Pediatric Massage
When researching training in pediatric massage therapy, you must consider how comprehensive the training course will be.  Comprehensive pediatric massage training provides massage therapists, bodywork practitioners and health care professionals with educational and professional training to enhance their intuitive skills.

Specializing in Infant Massage
In order to specialize in infant massage as career, or part of your practice, you must seek professional training and accredited certification.  A certified infant massage teacher is an educator who teaches the art of infant massage to parents or caregivers in the presence of their babies. This training is open to those who care deeply about families and children.

Who Invented Infant Massage?
No one in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom or Sweden, can take credit for the invention of infant massage.  Sure, there are people who wish to take credit, because they share infant massage in their communities and abroad.  However, the truth is, infant massage is the property of the world.

NICU Massage Program | Family Centered Care
When your baby is born you have many different feelings.  Joy, happiness and love are just a few examples of how you may feel.  However, when your baby is born early or with a complicating medical condition, those feelings may also include grief, disappointment, anger and fear.  In many cases being born early also means spending time in a hospital, specifically a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  This experience is much different than being home with your family.

How can I help my Baby stop Crying?
Do you ever wonder what makes a baby cry? As crying is one of the few ways babies have of communicating their needs to us, they cry about almost anything. They have a special cry when they are hungry, feel pain, have anxiety and are over stimulated. Even when they have gas, are exhausted, scared or frustrated, babies fuss and cry. It must be frustrating and stressful when they are doing their best to communicate to us and we don’t understand.

Colic: Your questions answered by Tina Allen
When babies with colic cry, they may draw their arms and legs in tight toward their bodies and appear to be in pain. Or other times they stretch out their arms and legs and stiffen, then draw up tight again. You may notice that baby’s face turns bright red from excessive crying.

Swaddling your baby | Step by step guide
Swaddling is typically only effective for the first few weeks after birth. After your baby reaches about one month old, swaddling can restrict your baby’s motor development.

How to get your child to sleep - Naturally
It is important to give your child plenty of time for his bedtime ritual. This way you both avoid feeling rushed, anxious or stressed. Try to make your child’s personal bedtime ritual as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

What are some of the benefits of Infant Massage?
Infant Massage provides you with essential one-on-one time that will enhance your family bonding, understanding and ability to nurture. During massage Oxytocin is released in both the giver and receiver’s body. Oxytocin is our feel good hormone, also known as the hormone of love.

Giving your baby a bath in 9 easy steps! | Step by Step Guide
First things first, double check that you have everything you need in close reach – baby safe soap, towel, washcloth? Make sure the room is nice and warm. Babies can get chilly easily, so if necessary use an extra heater to warm the room. Double check that your room is warm enough and that there will be no unexpected drafts.

Massage your child | Step by Step Guide
You might be saying, “My child isn’t going to stay still for a massage.” As children grow and become more active, you can easily keep up with their busy bodies and adapt the massage to continue with this nurturing touch.

What is pediatric massage?
For the massage therapist or healthcare professional considering pediatric massage, there are many considerations to prepare for providing age specific and development appropriate therapy. Further training in pediatric massage is required to feel fully confident working with children within medical institutions.

Bringing Home Baby
Bringing Home Baby can be an exciting, wonderful and often anxious time, but with a little planning beforehand, your family will be able to relax and treasure this special time together. The benefits of infant massage include improved sleep, healthy growth, development and reduction in the symptoms of colic.

What is a Certified Infant Massage Teacher?
A Certified Infant Massage Teacher (CIMT) is a parent educator who teaches the healing art of infant massage to parents or caregivers in the presence of their babies. You do not need to be a massage therapist, or have any previous experience in the healthcare field to become certified to teach infant massage. As a Certified Infant Massage Teacher you have the unique opportunity to impact a child and their family for a lifetime.

Postpartum Depression? The Natural Rx
When depression occurs after pregnancy it is called postpartum depression, peripartum depression and sometimes is more commonly known as “baby blues” After pregnancy, the many hormonal changes occurring within a woman's body may trigger symptoms of depression.

Massage Therapy for Children with Autism | Healing Hands
Usually diagnosed by the age of three years, Autism is a complex developmental condition, which affects a child’s ability to develop normal language, form relationships with others and respond appropriately to the environment. Autism is also characterized by early onset of a lack of attachment, the failure to cuddle as an infant, and an almost complete disassociation with the environment. Autism, as we now know it, is incurable and the behaviors associated with the disorder persist throughout the child’s lifetime.

Massage for Constipation
Many parents find that their little ones may have some difficulty with digestion. Constipation occurs for everyone at some time in their life, but can cause pain and discomfort for your baby. There are many different methods you can try to help relieve this discomfort however; I have found infant massage specifically for constipation to be very effective.

Massage for Sleep
Massage can be very effective for helping babies sleep deeper and for longer periods of time - which can translate into you being able to sleep longer as well. Sometimes all night! Not only does massage help your baby to release stress which builds daily from new experiences, it allows your baby to relax.

Work at Home Mom WAHM | Stay at Home Mom SAHM
Many women are deciding to leave their fast paced career lives to stay at home with their children. Some consider themselves stay at home moms, while many others are work from home moms. So what’s the difference?

All moms that stay at home with their children are working all day long anyway. The good news is that there’s a way to have your cake and eat it too. Moms can enjoy the comfort and convenience of staying at home while feeling the satisfaction and reaping the rewards of a professional career – all the while, meeting the demands of your little one and spending the most developmental years of your baby’s life - with your baby. What a concept!!

Babies in the Workplace
Throughout history, mothers have kept their babies with them while working. However, having children in the work environment now is not always feasible. Children have become more separated from their parents, and new parents often become isolated and separated from their community.

Having babies in the workplace encourages parents to provide responsive care for their little ones, making sure their individual needs are met. This care provides babies with much needed close physical contact, social interaction, and helps create happier babies.

Adoptive families of babies - Bonding through massage
Many families are concerned about bonding and attachment with their baby after adoption. If you are concerned, you are not alone. However, observation and research shows that adoptive families can form bonds as successfully as biological families.

The period from birth through three years of age is the most favorable time for children to form a bond with their families. However, adoptive parents have no need for undue concern as we also know developing a bond with an adopted child is not unlike the process of building one with a biological child, it develops over time.

Massage for growth and development
Babies and children simply love to be touched. In fact, they thrive on it and it is a crucial part of their development. Children need physical contact for healthy growth and development, and massage can play an important role in nourishing this growth.

Normal affectionate touching is important however, a regular routine of infant massage can offer additional benefits to both the caregiver and child. Nurturing touch promotes physiological, neurological and psychological development and function. Studies have shown increased weight gain, improved immune function, and myelination of nerves. All of which are needed to encourage appropriate brain and muscle development.

Massage for bonding
Bonding is a process, and is not something that takes place within a few moments of time or is limited to happening within a certain time period after baby’s arrival. For many families, bonding happens naturally as the result of everyday care giving. It is quite possible you may not even know it is happening until you observe your baby's first smile, make eye contact, and suddenly realize that you're filled with love for your new baby.

Communicating with your baby
As any new parent soon learns, your baby is born with the ability to cry, which is one distinct way they’ll communicate with you. Your baby's cries generally tell you that something is wrong in their world.

They may have a wet diaper, hungry tummy, cold toes, need a hug or cuddle, become tired or bored. Really, your baby may cry for just about any reason. It will take some time, but soon you'll be able to recognize which need your baby is expressing and respond accordingly.

Infant Stimulation
From birth through the first few months, babies thrive on infant stimulation. Visual stimulation, tactile stimulation and auditory stimulation can play big roles in your interactive time together. Infant stimulation can also help improve your baby’s curiosity, attention span, memory, and nervous system development. In addition, many babies who receive appropriate stimulation reach developmental milestones faster and have better muscle coordination.

Massage for Brain Development
A baby’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain. When a baby is born, they have billions of brain cells, many of which are not yet connected. Those cells become connected through new experiences. When you talk to your baby, cuddle him and touch him lovingly, these new experiences start to make those essential brain connections.

The first three years are of special importance. During this time the brain has the greatest potential for learning and developing. In early childhood, the brain is genetically programmed to produce more synapses, (point of connection between two nerve cells), than it will ever use. The development of the brain will keep the synapses that are used and lose those that are not.

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and Massage
For infants with Prader-Willi syndrome it is possible that massage may help provide appropriate stimulation for the circulatory and digestive systems, improve muscle tone and aide in sleep.

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is the most common genetic cause of life-threatening obesity in children.  Those diagnosed with PWS have an issue with the function of their hypothalamus.  This part of the brain normally controls feelings of being full or hungry.  As a result of this dysfunction of the brain, in the second stage of PWS children are likely not to feel full and will eat constantly unless well monitored.

New Tricks to help Parents help their Children get their Homework Done!
You’ve spent all summer entertaining the kids and now you get to send them back to school.  Free babysitting and you get your ME time back

The start of the school year is an exciting time for kids and for parents, who are finally getting their lives back to normal.  However, in all the excitement to get the kids back in school, we often forget about the extra work that lays ahead – homework!  Initially you think sure it’s just something the kids have to do. 

In reality think about how much time you’re going to spend nagging the kids to sit down and get their work done, or helping them with their projects.  It’s amazing how much homework teachers end up giving parents.

Does Massage Make Babies Smarter?
In almost all of my infant massage classes, I discuss with caregivers the many benefits of massaging their children.   Of course, I want parents to understand why it is important to consider massaging their children, and at the very least, ensure they provide appropriate interactive and stimulating opportunities. 

During my classes I share information about the many digestive benefits, and how massage can help many babies sleep deeper and for longer periods of time, but there always seems to be a question of whether massage can make their baby smarter.

The Permission Process for Infant Massage
Every massage session starts with asking your baby's permission to provide massage. This shows respect for your baby as a person. Even though many young babies cannot verbally respond with a resounding “yes or no”, your asking permission will make you more sensitive to baby’s mood, and help you to recognize if they are ready for this type of nurturing interaction.

Before you start the massage, relax and begin to warm your hands.  While warming your hands and making eye contact, you should ask verbally aloud, “May I give you a massage?” Then take a moment and carefully begin to watch your child for communication cues indicating if it is okay to proceed with the nurturing touch session.

Instilling Trust and Respect through Nurturing Touch
Beginning very early, infants and children want and need our approval.  It is imperative that our children know they are loved and cherished.  Without this approval and care, how are children expected to care for themselves, or others?  A child who receives respect from adults tends to learn respect, not only for themselves but also for other people.  These are values which we share and pass on to our children.

Massage for Children with Asthma
Asthma continues to increase in the US and around the world. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the prevalence of asthma around the world has doubled in the last 15 years.  In the US, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that prevalence among persons up to 17 years old increased about 5% per year from 1980 to 1995.    According to a recent New York Times article, "Asthma Becoming an Urban Epidemic," the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are staggering: the number of asthma sufferers has more than doubled in less than twenty years, skyrocketing from 6.7 million in 1980 to 17.3 million in 1998.

Benefits of massage for children with Autism
For children with Autism, massage may provide relaxation, stress reduction and calm muscle spasms.  Over time, touch therapy also helps the child to become more accustomed to tactile stimulation and aides in body awareness.  Often by incorporating massage therapy into daily routines, children with Autism experience decreased issues with sleeping.

Massage for Children with Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders | What are Seizures and Epilepsy?
For children, having seizures or Epilepsy can be frightening, and even more so for parents who witness the seizure.  When a child experiences a seizure, the first thing that needs to be done is to try and ascertain a diagnosis.  There are different types of pediatric seizures a child may experience.

You’ve become an Infant Massage Teacher – Now What?!
An infant massage teacher not only has the opportunity to provide education to parents and caregivers in the privacy of their homes, but also in parent centers, hospitals, early education environments, preschools, at community events, health centers, and so on.  Really, the places you can teach infant massage are endless.  Anywhere you can carry your teaching doll can become your classroom.

Working Families use Massage to Reconnect
While it is essential that parents work to support their families, it is also essential that parents find ways to connect and bond with their children.  To support children, show them they are loved and provide care and attention.  Yes, when you come home from work in the evening, exhausted or in a bad mood because of that nasty co-worker, this may seem like one more thing to do that you just can’t find the time for.  But, it is imperative that you spend time with children, even if it means that you have to skip washing the dishes or folding the laundry.  Those things can wait, children cannot.

Soldiers use Massage to Reconnect with their Children after War
When you are a service man or woman, and your country calls you to action, you answer in many cases by going away to fulfill your service mission.  In these cases, your loved ones get left behind.  This can be especially troubling when you have a young child, or a child on the way.  You may anticipate missing some special moments, including your child’s birth, but have you considered how you will reunite upon your return?

Massage for Children with Anxiety and Stress
Haven’t we all felt stress or anxiety at one time or another?  Whether due to an upcoming exam, an impending move or even just being in an unfamiliar situation, stress can occur.  As an adult, these stressors are easier to understand and manage, however, imagine if you are a child trying to understand these situations.

What is Infant Massage?
Infant Massage is an ancient tradition of providing nurturing touch as a way of communicating and bonding with baby.  Massage can help foster mutual trust and understanding between caregiver and child.

Considering a Career in Infant Massage
Infant massage has been steadily gaining international popularity, and so it only makes sense that many massage therapists consider adding infant massage to their repertoire.

Babies simply love to be touched. In fact, they thrive on it and it is a crucial part of their development. Children need physical contact for healthy growth and development.  Normal affectionate touching is important, however, a regular routine of infant massage can offer additional benefits to both the caregiver and child. Nurturing touch promotes physiological, neurological and psychological development and function.

Considering a Career in Pediatric Massage
Many massage therapists just entering the field of massage therapy are looking for a specific focus and place to specialize.  This is why the field of pediatric massage is so exciting.  Now, a modality that hadn’t been spoken of in the past is starting to receive mainstream medical credibility.  This acceptance allows for a massage therapist to truly follow their passion and begin providing massage therapy for children who are healthy or have special healthcare needs.

Massage for Children with Cancer | Pediatric Oncology Massage
Pediatric Oncology Massage requires specific skills to adapt massage and nurturing touch techniques suited for the child’s specific cancer treatment and treatment plan.

Healthcare professionals including massage therapists who wish to provide massage for pediatric oncology patients should consider specific specialized training in this area.  The comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Cancer (Massage for Children with Cancer) Course for massage therapists and healthcare professionals provides educational and professional training to those who wish to enhance their skills. Through this advanced training, participants learn to provide massage therapy, nurturing touch techniques and touch therapy for children who have been diagnosed with Cancer.

So, what is Autism?
According to the Autism Research Institute, Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger's Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many "autistic" social and behavioral problems).

What is Cerebral Palsy?
According to Nemours Children’s Health System, cerebral palsy (CP) is defined as a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). Cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, and speech problems, and learning disabilities.

Massage for Children with  Cerebral Palsy?
People with cerebral palsy usually receive combinations of therapies to help manage their condition.   Physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, and speech therapy are helpful in managing cerebral palsy.

Without question massage therapy can have a valuable role in improving the quality of life of a child with cerebral palsy.  Research performed by the Touch Research Institute has indicated children affected by cerebral palsy receiving massage therapy showed fewer physical symptoms including reduced spasticity, less rigid muscle tone overall and in the arms and improved fine and gross motor functioning. In addition, the massage group had improved cognition, social and dressing scores on the Developmental Profile and they showed more positive facial expressions and less limb activity during face-to-face play interactions.

Touch Therapy for Kids | Touch Therapy for Children
For massage therapists and bodywork practitioners wishing to incorporate touch therapy within their practice with child clients, specialized training is required to achieve full benefit.  Yes, you receive appropriate massage education during your time in school, however, is there ever a focus on appropriate massage therapy for pediatric clients? Whether healthy and well, or otherwise, it is imperative that you take the time to fine tune and develop child friendly skills as a professional bodyworker.

Children’s Massage for Cancer
When a child has to be hospitalized, or is diagnosed with a difficult medical condition, their symptoms are often accompanied by anxiety, pain and fear. Parent and caregivers can be at a loss as to how they can participate in their child’s healthcare and make them more comfortable.  This is where massage comes in.  Not only can a skilled pediatric massage therapist provide hands-on massage for these children, but parents can be educated in simple techniques so they can do the same.

Pediatric Massage for Healthcare Providers
Many health care providers have explored the use of massage for particular populations of children with special health care needs.  Overall, the evidence that massage provides global benefits to a child’s health far outweighs any evidence of negative effects.

Massage for Children with Bipolar Disorder
Massage Therapy may work as a method of treating bipolar disorder by promoting relaxation, creating body awareness and decreasing anxiety which can assist in appropriate and restful sleep.

Massage in the NICU | Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Parents of babies in the NICU may face a serious challenge: bonding with their infants despite doctors' rounds, medical equipment, and requirements for minimal stimulation. When the infant does become stable enough for touch, what can a parent do to provide comfort to their child? One of the best approaches is infant massage!

Untouchable! Massage for AIDS Orphans
Untouchable! This is one of the first words that haunt infants and children affected by HIV/AIDS.  It seems unfathomable that infants and children would be deprived of touch, especially when their life is complicated but such a diagnosis that cuddling and nurturing seem so appropriate.  This is the unfortunate reality for many babies and children living with AIDS.

Massage for Children with AIDS
As the most publicized infectious disease in the western world, there is substantial fear among alternative healthcare practitioners about being in close contact with an infected individual. This fear causes many to be hands-off with patients and clients under their care.

Massage for Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida is a birth defect of the central nervous system, where the bones of the spine do not completely form, leaving part of the spinal cord exposed. When a child is born with spina bifida, they have an opening in the spine.

Massage for Children with Cancer  | Retinoblastoma
Childhood Cancer is the number 1 disease killer of Children.  Yes, that is correct.  Pediatric cancer takes the lives of more children than Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy and Aids combined.

The American Cancer Society states that approximately 12,060 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012, with an estimate of one in 330 children to develop cancer by age 20.

Cortisol | The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, and is involved in some very important bodily functions.  We need cortisol to regulate blood pressure, aid in immune function, and regulate proper glucose metabolism.

Breaking the Cycle: Massage for Abused Children
“You’re an idiot! Why did you do that?”  Smack, whack, slam . . . does this sounds like anyway you would treat a child?  Well, unfortunately, this is the reality for many children throughout the United States.  Abuse is found in many homes, kept a secret behind closed doors.  Whether they are first hand recipients of physical touch, being yelled at or witnessing abuse of another, the effects are deep and long felt.

Is the Autism Rate 1 in 50?
The new statistic that raises the ratio from 1 in 80 children to 1 in 50, is alarming, but what is more alarming is the fact that many of these children may have been initially missed by the previous ratio.

ADHD, ADD and Massage Therapy for Children FAQs | Q & A
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are biological, neurological conditions that have exploded onto the scene in the past ten years. The signs and symptoms typically appear before the age of seven, and are often difficult to distinguish between normal “kid behavior.”

How Massage Can Help Your Child Diagnosed With Cystic Fibrosis and Asthma
Massage therapy can help with so many different types of illnesses, diagnoses and diseases, Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis are just a couple.


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