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The Importance of touch in newborn development

By January 14, 2020 No Comments

We can’t take for granted the importance of touch and the physical contact we have with our children. Touch is often just a natural reaction, an unconscious response to the love and bond we share with our little ones, but these interactions play a much bigger part in the way in which babies learn and develop. Physical contact is essential for human survival. Babies deprived of touch can fail to thrive, growth can be affected and their immune systems weakened.

A study reported in October 2013 confirmed that healthy physical contact with your baby aids brain development but also promotes psychological wellbeing and speeds up physical development. The researchers found that newborns who were exposed to consistent physical touch gained weight faster and had superior mental and motor skill development, compared to the children who did not experience the same amount of physical contact.

In May 2010, the Scientific American Magazine published research carried out on orphaned children who had experienced touch deprivation early on in life. The results showed these children had altered levels of Oxytocin and vasopressin, two hormones which are important for social bonding. The levels remained altered up to three years after being placed with a family, highlighting the detrimental affect a lack of touch can have on a human being.

How Can Reflexology Help?

A wonderful way to demonstrate the power of touch is through the feet. It facilitates in helping your baby to completely relax, they feel loved, safe and cared for. It is a natural reaction to hold your baby’s feet and reflexology is a wonderful tool to help babies with a range of issues. A reflexologist works on specific areas called reflex points, these correspond to different parts of the body, for example; Toes are linked to the brain and the ball of the foot relates to the chest, heart and lungs etc. By focusing on the associated reflex areas, you can pinpoint the parts of the body which may require healing.

How do babies and children respond to treatments?

Reflexology is particularly powerful when applied to infants as they are extremely receptive to it and results are often seen immediately. Reflexology isn’t just for babies who are suffering with certain conditions, it can be extremely beneficial for little ones to have regular reflex sessions to aid growth stimulation and development, as well as maintaining overall good health.

I am a qualified Baby Reflex practitioner and offer a 1-1 or a group class, where you will be taught how to safely deliver this therapy to your baby. It is a lovely way to bond and it will be a skill that you can keep for life! And don’t forget touch is essential throughout a person’s life not just when they are small!

Sources:

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/loving-touch-is-key-healthy-brain-development
www.livestrong.com/article/508221-the-influence-of-touch-on-child-development