Infant Massage for constipation

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Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson.

Chapter 11 has a subsection that discusses constipation. I know that constipation is quite common in infants and have used massage techniques to help the problem. The method used for an adult involves some type of abdominal massage by stimulating forward movement of intestinal contents. The client is recommended to be in the supine position with flexed knees. Circular gliding strokes, kneading and vibration in a clockwise direction on the abdominal area are to be used. A similar method is used for infants as well. If the infant is constipated, you can perform a tummy massage by gently massaging and rubbing the baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Place your hands at baby’s navel and massage in a circular motion, moving your hand(s) out and away from the center of baby’s belly. You can also bicycle the infant’s legs by placing the baby on the back and lightly holding the legs in a half-bent position. Gently begin to move the baby’s legs as if he/she is riding a bicycle. It is recommended that the massage therapist alternate “Bicycle Legs” with Tummy Massage. “Bicycle Legs” also may help to relieve a baby who is gassy.

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