A gentle massage appears to lower levels of stress hormones in unsettled babies, but there's no evidence that infant massage has any benefit on growth or development, a scientific analysis shows.
Infant massage has long been used in many Asian and African cultures to ease colic and crying, help babies sleep, and even aid their growth and development.
There has also been growing interest in infant massage among parents in Western countries.
UK researchers seeking to assess the science behind the practice analysed 23 clinical trials.
They report their findings in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organisation that evaluates medical research.
The trials involved infants aged six months and under who were randomly assigned to receive massage or not.
Source - Health News