Autumn 2011 – Babies deserve to feel well just as much as the rest of us and there’s no doubt that happy babies make for happier parents. However the early months can be painful and difficult. Two therapies in particular are beneficial – baby massage and craniosacral therapy.

Touch is one of the most significant and nurturing early experiences your baby will have. Nurturing touch has long-term benefits and can impact on how we think, feel and relate to others, and most importantly, how we value and care for ourselves.

Baby massage
The benefits of baby massage range from the promotion of bonding and secure attachment, the honing pre-language communication skills, receiving undivided attention, and the stimulation of all major body systems to offering relief from colic, constipation, wind, excess mucus, growing pains, teething discomfort and tension.

Massage leads to reduction of the stress hormones levels and increase in relaxing hormones levels in baby (and parent too). This leads to improved sleep patterns, improved ability to self-calming and coping with the environment.

Massaging the baby can help parents with better understanding of their baby and improves their self-esteem and confidence as a parent. It also allows fathers to get involved early. Many studies have shown baby massage helps with post-natal depression. The baby massage classes also offer the social aspect of meeting other parents and getting out of the house.

There are currently four Certified Infant Massage Instructors (CIMIs) practicing in Kerry – Anne O’Donnell in Tralee, Clare Fleming in Killarney, Kevin Horgan and Sona Dowds in Tralee – . All classes run by CIMIs are refundable on many health insurance policies.

If you are interested to find out more about Infant massage or if you want to find an instructor near by visit

CranioSacral Therapy
One of the most well known uses of Cranio Sacral Therapy is the treatment of children and babies. Even in the easiest of deliveries, the process of being born puts extraordinary strain on the baby. Quick deliveries, the use of suction, forceps or Caesarian section, can all add to the compressive or stressful influences on the baby’s body and nervous system.

These compressive forces can have an effect on some of the nerves that control sucking, swallowing and digestion and can result in colic, restlessness, problems with sleeping, digestion, constipation or baby being unsettled or unhappy  in some way.

“These problems can be easily addressed by using the gentlest touch,” says Carol Anne Midwinter, who practices craniosacral therapy at The Lighthouse therapy centre in Killorglin. “There is often not a lot of observable action by the therapist as she places a hand under the baby’s sacrum or around its head. The therapist is looking for subtle signs in the baby’s behaviour that will indicate what areas need to be addressed and what needs to be done. The treatment is gentle and subtle, with often amazing results.”