Remedial massage therapy is commonly associated with sports injuries, pain or muscle strain. Many patients also find that it alleviates non-physical conditions such as stress or anxiety. But did you know that remedial massage can also be beneficial for premature babies? Here's what you need to know.

Weight Gain

One benefit of remedial massage therapy for premature infants is a notable increase in weight gain. With premature children, every little bit of body mass counts, and anything that speeds this process up in a natural and healthy manner is of huge benefit. According to this 2010 study from the medical journal Infant Behavior and Development, babies who received a short course of remedial massage gained approximately 21 to 48% more weight than the control group. This gain is perhaps due to increased stimulation of the vagal nerve, which increases digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Length of Hospital Stay

The same study also noted that babies in receipt of remedial massage left the hospital earlier than the control group. As any parent could tell you, that extra time at home with a baby is priceless, and the cost savings of leaving the hospital earlier ar significant. This is a clear demonstration of the noticeable, real-world effects that this type of therapy can bring.

Reduction in Stress

Perhaps this effect is more obvious, as any adult patient knows how soothing massage can be. However, it's especially vital for newborn premature children to reduce any stress they are experiencing. Another Infant Behavior and Development study from 2007 found a significant reduction in stress behaviours in premature patients after a five-day course of remedial massage. As such, not only does this therapy promote the physical health of these premature babies, but it can also promote mental and emotional wellbeing too.

Promotion of Movement

The more premature babies move their limbs, the healthier they are likely to be. It increases the production of serum bone formation markers and bone mineral density. Remedial massage incorporates this type of careful passive movement, ensuring that even inactive babies can enjoy these health benefits.

In short, there are boundless benefits for remedial massage for all infants, especially those born prematurely. Just a short daily session can encourage healthy development, helping these children get the great start to life that they deserve. For more information about remedial massage therapy and how it can help your premature baby, contact a local professional.