This blog has been used a lot over the past year and a half of its existence to trumpet the therapeutic benefits of massage. And while this is a good site to find yet another ailment that massage therapy can help cure, the Touch Research Institute is the gold mine of scientific research into the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy.
This week I’m writing about another study from their resources, this one demonstrating the benefits of touch and massage therapy among infants.
According to a study linked to the Touch Research Institute’s (TRI) Web page, 4-month-olds were given massage therapy for 8 minutes, while other 4-month-olds were given 8 minutes of play time, or 8 minutes of no stimulus whatsoever. Afterwards, the infants performed an audiovisual habituation task, which dulled their psychological and behavioral responses to outside stimuli. After the audiovisual task was over, the babies who had received the massages were able to recover quickly and continue to be stimulated by their outside environment. The infants who had not received massage therapy, meanwhile, were not able to recover from the habituation exercise.
This shows the importance of touch and massage in the development of children, as the infants who had received massage were more responsive, aware and reactive to their outside surroundings than the infants who had not received massage therapy.
In forthcoming blogs I want further explore massage therapy and touch and the benefits they have in the development of children and adolescents. Finally I want to continue to examine the specific effects that massage therapy has on adults. Massage therapy and touch seem to have healing properties not only for specific ailments or people at specific ages, but for all people of all ages in need of specific treatments or just a general sense of well being.
Check out the Touch Research Institute if you want to read ahead, and please point out the interesting things that you find there yourself. As always, feel free to add your viewpoints or your own topics of conversation in the comments box.