This week the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) has been holding events across the UK to promote baby massage as part of its National Baby Massage Week initiative (16-21 May 2011).

According to the IAIM, the many benefits of massage include parent-child bonding, better sleep, body awareness and sensory stimulation. These findings are also reflected in two new resources from *Singing Dragon which combine research and practice to give parents and carers the skills they need to use massage with their young children on the autism spectrum.

Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers by Dr Virginia Cowen is practical guide explains how massage works, how the body senses touch, and how touch therapy can benefit children with ASDs. As Dr Cowen said in her recent interview:

“In children with autism spectrum disorders, massage research noted fewer displays of self-stimulating behaviors, better sleep patterns, improved receptivity to touch, and less aggressive behavior. As a practitioner, that helps me understand that massage can help a child become more self aware and relaxed.”

The book goes on to describe exactly what each type of massage entails and covers anatomy-oriented massages, energy-based massages and therapeutic bodywork, helping readers to tell Reiki from reflexology, a Swedish from a sports massage, or tuina from a Thai massage, and includes recommendations for selecting the right style of massage, advice on locating a practitioner, and tips on preparing a child with an ASD for massage.

Qigong Massage for Your Child with Autism: A Home Program from Chinese Medicine by Dr Louisa Silva is a book and DVD set that teaches parents a simple 15-minute Qigong massage programme which has been developed specifically for the needs of children with ASDs, and is based on the author’s extensive clinical research. When performed regularly, this massage programme been shown to greatly improve mood and behaviour, sleeping patterns, and language and social skills.

In this video, Dr Silva demonstrates some of these benefits discussed in the book:

Also included in the book is information on diet, advice on reading a child’s body language during massage, and helpful progress checklists.

Click below for more information on these new titles.

*Singing Dragon is an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2011.

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