Many people know that a white comfy pillow and a nice relaxing massage can go a long way.
That can only be assumed for the most recent participants of Centennial College’s Massage Therapy Clinic, as second-year students lead the annual infant massage event.
Sabine von Boetticher, a faculty member of the massage therapy program, says this particular clinic provides a chance for both students and parents to learn.
“The whole premise with infant massage is that parents learn how to do it and do it daily with their babies,” Boetticher said. “It’s a chance for the students to practice but in the end the real benefit is really for the parents to learn the technique.”
In its 15th year at Centennial’s Morningside campus, the Infant Massage Clinic brings parents from the community and their babies together with students.
The students begin by going through patient history followed by the 20-minute massage. Using a number of techniques, students show parents how to alleviate issues such as congestion and constipation.
Elliot Stanwick, a massage therapy student, says his experience with baby Ava was really rewarding.
“I learned that infant massage is pretty awesome. I wasn’t expecting to have this much fun and I think the baby really enjoyed it,” Stanwick said. “She’s a little too young to smile but her legs were going crazy and she didn’t cry.”
Parents were also receptive to the experience. Jennifer Calderon, Ava’s mother, says she learned a great deal.
“I think the most beneficial part was learning the stomach exercises for her constipation,” Calderon said.
Generally speaking, the babies reacted well during their time on the pillow. Some preferred to lie on their back while others on their stomachs.
“Every baby is different, that is sometimes hard to get the students to understand,” Boetticher said.
At the end of the day students gained hands-on experience, the parents left happy and the babies were content.