Published: Wednesday 27 July 2016

Baby massage is used throughout the world to benefit young children. Here we look at some of the fascinating reasons different countries and cultures use infant massage:

  • In Fiji parents massage a baby as a night time ritual.
  • In India massage is used from birth and older generations massage younger ones.
  • Hawaiian mothers massage their baby’s faces as they believe it makes them beautiful.
  • Balinese, Mongolians and Australian Aborigines massage to relieve headaches and stomach aches.
  • Tibetan parents are told massaging their baby is essential for full development.
  • Russian mothers believe massage develops the nervous system.
  • Maori mothers massage leg joints to help a child’s suppleness and gracefulness.
  • Zinacantecos of Mexico believe a baby must be massaged and embraced frequently or he will lose his soul.
  • In Korean culture it is believed that massaging the baby's legs routinely will encourage growth and make the babies tall.
  • After birth Samoans usually massage the baby with either blood from the placenta or the umbilical cord.
  • Cuban mothers massage babies' abdomens with oil and garlic to ease upset stomachs.
  • Some western cultures believe that too much holding and touching can spoil the infant.
  • In South Asia, mothers perform daily infant massage in the belief that it will install fearlessness, harden bone structure and enhance movement and limb coordination.
  • Nigerian mothers massage their infants in belief that it will promote their health and well-being.
  • In China they believe that even babies can benefit from increased blood flow to different parts of the body through massage.
  • In Korea it is believed that regularly massaging the legs will make a baby taller.

Are you from or have you visited other countries and cultures we've not included here? Perhaps you're a baby massage teacher and have families from different places in your groups? Head over to our Facebook page to share your stories!

If you'd like to learn to teach the wonderful skill of baby massage, join us on one of our courses taking place at locations throughout the UK including Brighton, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cornwall, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Doncaster and Sheffield.


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