Most definitely. At the Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami, Florida, researchers examining the effects of touch demonstrated its anxiety-reducing, calming and relaxing effects on both children and adults. The TRI has conducted over 90 studies on the positive effects of touch therapy on many conditions, with the major cause for these improvements being decreased levels of stress hormones.
Infant massage is recognised throughout the world, mainly due to the work of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM). The Association was founded by Vimala McClure, who was inspired by the positive effects of massage she observed while working in an Indian orphanage.
Therapists have also developed massage approaches for individuals with special needs and young children in pre-school. Since 2002, a ‘Massage in Schools Programme’ has been running in many UK schools. This programme, originated by Mia Elmsater from Sweden and Sylvie Hetu from Canada, has reported numerous benefits, including calmer children, improved concentration and motor skills as well as a reduction in bullying and aggression. For address details, see the ‘Where to go from here’ section near the end of this blog.