Baby Massage Teacher Training

Training courses for parent practitioners and health professionals

August newsletter

August News Letter

Can massage reduce stress levels for babies

The stress response activates the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system resulting in stimulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Subsequent to HPA activation is the production of a cascade of stress-associated hormones including epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, which influence other physiological systems including an increase in blood pressure, respiration and
heart rate.

In contrast, massage therapy is believed to stimulate the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system facilitates the return to homeostasis after an emergency by reversing some
of the physiological systems activated during the stress response. For example, an increase in parasympathetic tone would reduce heart rate and slow respiration, resulting in relaxation.