Since massage chairs have proven to be so beneficial to us adults, it’s only natural to wonder if they could be so beneficial for children. Many new parents often hear about massaging their babies, so could that be made easier by putting the baby into the massage chair?
First, let’s talk about why massage chairs are so beneficial health-wise. Not only do they provide amazing relaxation, but they are also good for helping blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, stimulating the muscles, and even helping healing.
Of course, their primary use is usually for reducing stress, of which many of us have far too much! However, children definitely have their stresses too. Although we all tend to look back on our childhoods thinking that they were easier times, in many ways, they were not. We all tend to forget the stresses that we felt as children, such as separation from our parents, first days of schools, making new friends, etc. Childhood can be very stressful, no matter how fortunate we may be.
However, when it comes to babies, massages are used less to reduce their stress and more to help their bodies in all sorts of ways. Parents are often told to massage their babies to strengthen their bonds with them, help a child feel relaxed, and even improve their sleep.
Therefore, it would seem logical to want your babies to have the best massage experience possible, which they could surely get from your very own massage chair.
Let’s take a closer look at whether babies and children should use massage chairs and the age at which you should start massaging your baby.
Are massage chairs safe for babies?
In short, no, massage chairs are not really safe for babies. Although there has been no significant study to measure the dangers of massage chairs on babies, it is fair to assume that putting a baby on a massage chair would be a bad idea!
Although they may initially enjoy the vibrations, their bodies are still very much developing and are not suited to the intense movements of the massage chair. Although we tend to think of massage chairs as being quite soft and harmless on our bodies, they are actually very strong.
It is ill-advised for adults to use massage chairs for long or under too high a pressure, as it can cause significant damage. The user could find themselves feeling stiff, with sore muscles, and even bruised or damaged skin. This is due to the over stimulation of the body.
Now, imagine that with a baby. Even having them in a low-pressure setting could easily become damaging for the baby in a way that may not even be immediately evident.
Generally speaking, children under the age of 12 should not use a massage chair unsupervised. Even if they are no longer babies, their bodies are still very much developing and are fragile and vulnerable to intense vibrations and pressurized movements.
However, if they are supervised, then your child may actually benefit from using a massage chair. It could help them to relieve the stress of the day, promote healing, relax their muscles, and help them to sleep better. However, remember to use a low setting and do not let them use it for too long.
Children with certain health conditions should also not use a massage chair as it could worsen their condition. If you are unsure whether your child should use a massage chair, then consult your doctor for more information. They will tell you whether your child should use the massage chair, as well as for how long, at what pressure, and at what setting.
Should your child not be able to use a massage chair, or if you would like your baby to be able to reap the benefits from massages, then it is essential to remember that you do not necessarily need a chair at all. You yourself can massage your children for equally good and potentially even better results.
What age should you start baby massage?
As mentioned, there are multiple benefits to massaging your baby, including improving blood circulation and stimulating the digestive system. This has proven to help them with gas, cramps, constipation, etc.
It is suggested that you start massaging your baby a few weeks after birth. You should start by gently massaging their arms, legs and back. However, your baby needs to be ready and willing to have the massage in order for it to work. That means that your baby should be calm, awake, and happy with what you are doing.
If they begin to cry or wriggle extensively, it is likely because they are uncomfortable, and so you should stop the massage then. It is also unwise to massage your baby unless it has been at least 45 minutes since they last ate. Massaging them too soon after feeding can cause vomiting.
If you are unsure about how to massage your baby correctly, then consult your doctor. They will be able to show you adequate techniques. It is especially essential to consult your doctor about the baby massages if your baby has a health condition. If the massage is not suited to their needs, then it could cause more damage than good.
Your doctor will also recommend the frequency at which you should massage your baby. Whereas some parents choose to massage their babies every day either to start the day off right or to help them get to sleep, others choose to only massage them a few times a week. Of course, your massage preferences will depend on you and your baby, but you should consult your doctor to be sure.
In order for the massage to work, your baby will need to be in a warm, quiet room. You should, first, place them on their back so that they are facing you and begin to rub each body part gently. You can start from their head and move all the way down to their feet. When it comes to massaging their backs, you are better off holding your baby, as few babies enjoy being put on their stomachs.
I’m not sure about baby massage – what should I do?
If you are really unsure about massage for your baby, then don’t worry – your doctor will give you all the advice you need. However, we would always advise against sitting a baby up in your own massage chair, even if it seems to be the right thing to do!
We never truly know what babies go through, even though they tell us when they are upset and are in need of food or milk. However, they are still extremely vulnerable – meaning that while you have the best of intentions at heart, you could do your children serious harm.
Therefore, to be safe, please only ensure you use your massage chair for yourself – and any other adults who are lucky enough to also take a go on it! To massage your baby, you’ll need a different technique – and even then, medical advice is key. We all want to help our kids!