"Infants and young children are gifts of pure, unconditional love. Sharing massage with them allows us to tap into this love and, in turn,reflect it back to them." -Elly Leduc
Infants are born with their connection to the Divine intact. They have just emerged from the spirit world and I believe are still in contact with their angels and other friends. If this part of their world is acknowledged from the beginning they can learn to be present in the physical world while simultaneously accepting their spiritual nature. The world would be a completely different place if we had maintained this ability. Through the practice of Infant Massage you can strengthen this connection for both of you. Infant Massage is a simple communication of love. pouring from the heart and hands of the caregiver, to the child, then back to caregiver. Practicing this ancient technique with the conscious intent of connecting with the sacred within you and your infant can be a profound, rewarding experience.
In many ancient cultures the art of Infant Massage has traditionally been passed down from mother to daughter. In India it is still practiced as a part of normal child care. There, it is practiced in silence, with intuitive communication between infant and caregiver. The child is allowed to drift in contemplation or be active if they are in the mood. This allows the infant to set the tone, with the parent responding as appropriate.
The beliefs of people of other cultures about the nature of babies and their needed care is often very different from ours. These are a few interesting examples:
From "MamaToTo" by Carol Dunham of the Body Shop team [no longer in print]
I have given some thought regarding this last statement and the impact on our culture. Given the busy lives of families these days, adding more guilt won't solve anything. I am convinced that when you have a strong spiritual connection through a practice like Infant Massage that bond remains intact even when you are physically separated from your infant. Consciously reconnecting throughout the day enables your infant to feel your presence even though you are not there with them at all times.
As a Healing Touch Practitioner I am very aware of the spiritual nature of infants. Barbara Ann Brennon speaks of this in "Hands of Light": "The process of slowly awakening to the physical world continues after birth. The baby sleeps frequently during this time. It leaves the physical body disengaged and allows them to be very busy doing the work of body building. In the early stages of life, the child has the job of becoming used to the limitations of physical sensation and to the three-dimensional world. They still have some awareness in the spiritual world. The field of the child is entirely open and vulnerable to the atmosphere in which they live." Our job is to help them feel safe in the physical world.
The Intuitive Nature of Infants
Few people realize that babies respond to energy and therefore to emotions and thoughts. If the parents or siblings are scared or angry, the baby will feel this. If there is tension or very high energy of a positive nature in a room or house, a baby will respond. To strengthen their energy field I have parents do a visualization connecting their hearts with a rainbow, then I have them expand the rainbow to surround them both. This encloses them in a cocoon of light that is a safe and protected space for the massage. This connection will continue long after the massage is over. Strengthening their energetic boundaries will ensure that their intuitive abilities remain intact as they grow, enabling them to sense danger before it physically appears. Animals have this ability and our children can retain it if encouraged.
If your baby begins to "drift" during the massage they may be off in the spirit world playing with their old friends. We don't need to be constantly "in their faces" trying to "engage" their attention. Very few babies in our busy world suffer from lack of stimulation. How can we expect our children to "sit still and be quiet" when they go to school when they have never had the experience? Give them the gift of stillness and silence through the practice of Infant Massage. In her set of audio tapes "Spiritual Madness" Caroline Myss, Ph.D. says that we are now being asked to develop our spirituality while simultaneously living in the physical world. Think of the impact on the next generation if they retain their ability to follow spiritual guidance while simultaneously being firmly grounded to the Earth from their experience of being massaged as infants. These will be our future leaders.
Suggestions for increasing your connection with your infant (these are meant to be used during the massage and at quiet times). Your talking and playing with your baby at other times of the day are just as important.
Elly Leduc, RN, CIMI, CHTP
Read Elly Leduc's bio.