Tuesday, 14 October 2014
How Baby Reflex can help your little one
Baby Reflex is a specially adapted form of traditional reflexology. It was developed by Jenny Lee, a chartered physiotherapist and qualified reflexologist, following 15 years of extensive research into the effects of regular reflexology on childhood asthma. The main effects she found – relaxation, improved sleep and child/parent bonding – encouraged Jenny to create Baby Reflex in 2005.
Now there are fully qualified Baby Reflex practitioners around the country who can teach you how to treat your children with these special reflexology techniques. You can learn in enjoyable small group sessions or on a one-to-one basis in your home.
This soothing form of finger-tip and thumb pressure has been specially created for parents to give to their babies on their feet and to their toddlers on their hands. Parents can adjust the treatment to suit their own child's needs. Baby Reflex should never start until your baby is at least four weeks old.
Q. After six weeks in hospital we are thrilled that our premature baby is coming home. Although the staff were brilliant at helping us, we're worried that our baby has missed out on some of the bonding that happens in those early days, and would like to try some Baby Reflexology.
Baby Reflex encourages parents to begin by touching their baby's feet before giving any specific Baby Reflex treatment. This is particularly relevant in your case, as we don't recommend full Baby Reflex treatments until a premature baby's development has reached what would be the full-term four week stage. But in the meantime, gently hold the heels of your baby's feet in your cupped hands for ten seconds, every time either of you picks up your baby.
This will aid bonding and is a particularly good technique to help fathers bond with their little one, as they may otherwise be less involved with their baby's care at that very young age.
Q. Our two-year-old has started to get really ratty at bedtime. Can Baby Reflex help to soothe him when it's time to go to sleep?
A Once a child has become more mobile, Baby Reflex is more easily applied to his hands than his feet.
When it's time for bed, to make initial contact between you and your child, sit opposite or beside him, or even in bed alongside him.
Put your palms face down on his upturned palms for 15 to 20 seconds, while saying to him. 'We are now going to start some very special Baby Reflex together, with nursery rhymes, especially for you.'
Then take your child's left hand, palm up, in your left hand; with your right hand, palm down, gently stroke his palm, moving to the top of his fingers then down the back of his hand.
Then reverse that movement by bringing your right hand back over the top of his fingers and across his face-up palm. While you do this, say or sing the nursery rhyme:
'Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.'
Repeat this on your son's right hand, and use the whole verse for the stroking movement on each hand. After stroking both hands, you can add another movement. With your finger pressing gently down, stroke from right to left across the centre of your child's palm. Repeat this three times, while saying:
'Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.'
When you get to the words, 'Like a diamond in the sky', gently press the centre of your son's palm three times. Repeat this on both hands.
It's a good idea to invite your son to take part in saying all or part of the nursery rhyme – and soon he will have learnt that verse.
For further information on Baby Reflex, to find a practitioner near you, visit Baby Reflex. Here you can also buy 'A Touch Away', a DVD which demonstrates simple Baby Reflex techniques for parents and grandparents.