This study assessed the effects of moderate and light pressure massage on the growth and development of young infants. A recent study by Diego, Field, Sanders, and Hernandez-Reif (2004) showed that persons who were given moderate pressure massage, as compared with persons who received light massage or vibratory stimulation, experienced a decrease in heart rate, EEG changes associated with a relaxation response and positive affect, and the greatest decrease in stress. In the present study, mothers were instructed to massage their newborn infants once per day using either light or moderate pressure. The infants' growth (i.e., weight, length, head circumference), sleep behavior, and performance on the Brazelton scale were assessed soon after birth and at one month of age. As compared to infants who received a light pressure massage, infants in the moderate pressure group gained more weight, were greater length, performed better on the orientation scale of the Brazelton, had lower Brazelton excitability and depression scores, and exhibited less agitated behavior during sleep.
- Massage therapy
- Touch research institutes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology