Infant massage has been practiced for centuries by segments on the continents of Africa and South America and in the Far East. Infant massage is a relatively new modality in North America. Numerous studies support its use in preterm infants, who have exhibited decreased stress levels, increased weight gain, and improved motor function when compared with non-massaged controls. Research has recently turned to the benefits of massage in the cocaine-exposed population and in those with human immunodeficiency virus. Massage in ill preterms has been targeted for clinical testing.
Associate Professor and Coordinator Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program School of Nursing University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky