Babies cranial bones are not fused until they are about two years old! This means that they can slide and shift until they fuse in place. Sometimes if cranial bones are shifted improperly, they can cramp ear canals and cause chronic ear infections. They can pull on surrounding musculature and cause tension headaches, which may look like colic. They can create jaw pain where the mandible should meet the temporal bone. All of this shifting and irritation can cause facial swelling, pain, uneven facial features, and more.
Your RMT may be able to correct the cranial molding to reduce these symptoms and alleviate pain.
If your baby is having any trouble breathing, whether it is from stuffiness/congestion or from the diaphragm not working properly, your RMT can help.
Massage can help to reduce stuffiness using drainage techniques, and to decrease tone in overworked accessory breathing muscles, or in a diaphragm that's working hard for every breath. Babies bellies should expand like balloons with inhalation, and sometimes reducing tension in the diaphragm or abdomen can allow your baby to breathe a little easier- so that you can, too!
You may not have heard of this before, but it's actually fairly common. Torticollis is a condition where a muscle in the neck spasms, forcing the head into an uncomfortable position. The spasm itself can be painful, and the baby will not be able to move their head. This can happen on one side of the neck, or on both.
Your RMT can work on this muscle until the spasm releases, freeing your baby from this painful position.
Babies get indigestion sometimes! I'm sure we've all experienced a blown diaper or too when things get moving again. But before that can happen, the built up gas and stool can be very uncomfortably for your baby. RMT's can use abdominal massage and other techniques to help speed up the process and decrease the amount of time your baby is uncomfortable for. Just make sure you bring an extra couple diapers/wipes to your appointment!
Treatment for indigestion is one that your RMT can show you how to do at home, too. This way if the issue comes up again, you will have to tools to help your baby yourself.
5.Premature Babies/Infant growth rate
Massage has been proven to increase infant growth rates (source). This has led to impressive results with babies being discharged sooner from NICU departments. Results were similar whether the massage was performed by a therapist or a parent. If your baby is underweight, massage may help them gain weight faster than they otherwise would have.
If you are still not sure about infant massage, book your infant in with an RMT (some will travel to your local NICU!) who can show you a safe way to massage your baby.
Scoliosis can be functional or congenital. If your infant has scoliosis, it is likely congenital. Seeing a Massage Therapist may help to reduce the severity of the scoliosis by reducing muscle imbalances that could be affecting the spine.
If you're interested in booking your infant with a Registered Massage Therapist, you can book online with me here, or find one near you at www.CMTO.com!