May 10th, 2005

Great River Center for Rehabilitation has begun offering infant massage. Besides reinforcing bonding, massage also may improve the health and well being of young children.

During each session, which lasts up to 60 minutes, certified infant massage therapist Karen Piper demonstrates strokes on a lifelike doll. Parents practice the strokes on their infants to reinforce bonding.

“Each infant massage session usually targets a specific area of the baby’s body,” Piper said. “Babies can’t tolerate a full body massage because it’s too stimulating for their nervous systems.”

Massage may be an effective complementary therapy for abused infants and children with a variety of diagnoses, such as asthma, attention deficit disorder, autism, behavioral disorders, diabetes, fetal alcohol syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and muscular problems.

Infant massage may provide these benefits:

• Enhances relaxation and learning
• Improves parents’ confidence
• Improves sleep
• Relieves discomfort
• Speeds nervous-system development
• Teaches parents to be more receptive

Individual sessions and packages are available, as well as gift certificates. For more information about infant massage or to schedule an appointment, please call Great River Center for Rehabilitation at (319) 768-4100.