International Day of Infant Massage and Nurturing Touch

June 7th is recognized by the International Association of Infant Massage as the International Day of Infant Massage and Nurturing Touch. We believe wholeheartedly in the importance of infant massage; there are so many benefits to the family!

According to Touch Research Institute, “Infants and toddlers with sleep onset problems were given daily massages by their parents for 15 minutes prior to bedtime for one month. Based on parent diaries, the massaged versus the control children (who were read bedtime stories) showed fewer sleep delay behaviors and had a shorter latency to sleep onset by the end of the study. Forty-five minute behavior observations by an independent observer also revealed more time awake, alert, and active; and more positive affect in the massaged children by the end of the study.” Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M,. (2001). Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 168, 95-104

From Dr. Marshall Klaus, MD (Pediatrician and Neonatalogist, co-editor of Care of the High-Risk Infants, Your Amazing Newborn, and Bonding: Building a Secure Attachment and Independence: “I am familiar with the advantages of infant massage and skin to skin contact for both the growing premature infant and the full term infant. These techniques help the parents build a bond with their premature and full term baby. The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) is especially skilled in teaching this technique to parents. Infant massage is very useful in calming infants and enhancing growth.”

To celebrate a day that promotes a cause we are passionate about, we are asking graduates of our Parent-Baby Class to help us share the love of infant massage. For the month of June, we are having a fun contest, here are the rules:

  1. Find Family Massage Education Center on Facebook, here’s the link: HERE
  2. Write a review about your experience, either during class, or after.
  3. Tag a friend of yours in your review or comments, who you think would benefit from the Parent-Baby Class.
  4. If your friend signs up for the Parent-Baby class, you will be entered into a drawing to receive a FREE One Hour Massage.
  5. The more friends you refer to a Parent-Baby class, the more entries you have in drawing for the FREE One Hour Massage.
  6. Contest ends Friday, June 30th, winner announced on July 3, 2017.

Because Father’s Day is also in June, we’re including results from a study involving fathers who massage their babies: “Infants were given massages by their fathers for 15 minutes prior to their daily bedtime for one month. By the end of the study, the fathers who massaged their infants were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor-play interactions with their infants.” Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. and Hartshorn, K. (2000) Father-infant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care,. 164, 41-47.

Dads, enjoy closer bonding and enjoyment of your infant by joining the Parent-Baby series of in home massage. The next session begins June 24th. Call 541-482-3567 to register, or sign up online at our website.


Free Parent-Baby Massage Class

Free parent baby massage class CEIM training May 2017-page-001 (1).jpg

Parents who are curious about our Parent-Baby classes often cite a lack of funds as the number one reason they don’t sign up for the five weeks series taught on Saturdays at Family Massage Education Center. For those parents, here’s an opportunity to test out a class for free. Please call us at 541-482-3567 to get signed up. Please share this post with anyone in the Southern Oregon area who has an infant less than a year old.

Massage During Childbirth Decreases Labor Duration

“Among pregnant women, a massage lasting at least 30 minutes during delivery significantly decreased the duration of the first and second stages of labor, and significantly increased newborns’ tolerance of the birthing process and well-being outside the womb, according to recent research.

The study, ‘Effect of massage therapy on duration of labor: a randomized controlled trial,’ involved 100 pregnant women in labor inthe maternity ward of a hospital. these subjects were randomly assigned to either the massage group or the control group prior to delivery.


This post is quoted from August, 2016, Issue 243 of Massage magazine. This article is found on page 68. It was originally published in April, 2016 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research 10(4), QC12-QC15

August Classes

What kind of family situation are you in? Single? Partnered? Pregnant? Married? We have a class for just about every situation; yes, even for singles. Here’s a testimonial from a student who attended the “Couples/Singles Massage Series” as a single student.

     “I heard about FMEC when I drove past their old location and saw the sign, “Learn Massage.” I jotted down the phone number and called. I was concerned about attending a massage class alone, but the woman on the phone assured me that singles are welcome. I signed up for the Monday night classes and felt excited to be doing something I had been curious about, but had never tried. I registered and paid prior to the beginning of class, and found out at that time, I was the only single signed up. When I left, I brushed aside the growing fear that maybe I had made a bad decision. I wanted to learn how to give a massage (and get one too, as told to me by an employee at FMEC) and I wasn’t going to let being partnerless stop me.
     I arrived for my first class excited and expectant. I love learning new things, but I was also wondering how class would go, being a woman without a partner. Would I get partnered with a woman? Would she be young, old, what kind of body would she have for me to learn on? Then I wondered…what if I get a man???? What if he’s gross, stinky, or really fat? I was onboard for learning together with another woman, and practicing on a total stanger…who was a woman! But, I did NOT want to be touching a strange man! No Way! What would my new boyfriend think?!? Those fearful little thoughts swirled around my mind as I walked in the door. I had decided nothing was going to stop me! I wanted learn!
     As things turned out, there were two singles in the class; me and a man. Let’s just pause for just a moment and relish the humor of the universe! I dreaded being partnered with a man I didn’t know and here I was, partnered with a man I didn’t know. If I had been partnered with Russel Brand (man crush cuz he’s funny), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, (have you SEEN his amazing body?!?) or Patrick Stewart (yes…my crushes span all ages, races, and body types, hello!) I would have been thrilled but completely intimidated. Instead I was partnered with a regular guy. I won’t go into too many details about him, because there really wasn’t anything exceptional about him. He was young, he was blond, he was height and weight proportioned, and wanted to learn, just like me. 
     JoAnn Lewis, the instructor at FMEC, was amazing about putting me (and I think, my partner too) at ease about giving massage to a total stranger. She is the kind of teacher who seems to know when you’re having difficulty with something and is there when you need that little bit of encouragement, or offers a point of correction and instruction at just the right time without being critical. I appreciated how she taught us techniques to promote modesty when a person needs to turn over on the massage table by holding sheets properly. She also shared the importance of communication during a massage, between both parties. More than anything, she did a great job of sharing her passion for healthy touch, massage, and wonderment about the human body. You learn a whole lot more than just massage techniques.  
     As the classes progressed (the couples and singles massage series lasts for 4 weeks) not only did I become more comfortable with the massage techniques, I also got more self-confidence.  I grew less timid about letting another man give me a massage, and I looked forward to practicing on my male partner. Thanks to JoAnn’s instruction and reminder about good communication (Ask, Listen, Trust, and Praise) my partner and I learned a lot, together. I’m really glad that thanks to my Couples and singles massage class with JoAnn Lewis, and my awesome partner, I now have no problem giving massages to anyone; men I don’t know, and even a few fat ones. ” ~LL


Here’s a flyer of our August Classes. To register, call 541-482-3567, or visit our website: HERE

All 1 pg dated AUG 2016 (Autosaved)-page-001

Let’s Talk Hormones

What is a Hormone?

It is a biochemical produced in tissue that travels through the bloodstream and produces physiological responses in other parts of the body. Let’s examine oxytocin. Oxytocin is often called the “love or feel good” hormone. It stimulates contractions of the uterus during and after labor. The hypothalamus releases oxytocin during breastfeeding, which causes milk release as the mother’s nipples are stimulated when the baby suckles. Oxytocin also encourages feelings of bonding between mother and child, man and woman (especially during intimacy), and as the diagram shows, between father and child. It is very interesting to see how an uninvolved dad affects the oxytocin levels in the mother and baby.



Some other hormones present in either parent or the baby are: Prolactin, which helps with milk production, and fosters nurturing and caring. It also helps regulate immune function; and like oxytocin, it is released by the stimulation of baby’s suckling. Vasopressin is a relative hormone to oxytocin. It promotes feelings and motivations of pleasure and reward, and promotes social and intimate attachments in men. Isn’t it fascinating how our bodies can produce hormones that encourage love and bonding in a family?

Massage in History

In ancient times people lived in tribes and groups where women held babies next to them in slings and packs and touch was constant.  Every member of the village had a role in the survival of the people and helped to care for the babies.  Infant massage is thought to have begun before recorded history as since recorded history it has existed as a common practice among the oldest cultures in the world today.  The first written records began to reference the positive health benefits from massage:

Ancient_Egyptian_massage2700 BC – from China,  1800 BC – from India,  350 to 500 BC – from Egypt, Persia, Japan and Greece, Hippocrates, the father of medicine wrote: “The physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly in rubbing…For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid.”

100 BC to 50 AD – from the Romans, Caesar & physician Celsus

Biblical references –  to healing as “laying on of hands” and “anointing with oil”.

1450 to 1600 AD Renaissance from Persia to Italy’s medical schools references to massage and then spreading to other European cities of rising prosperity.

1517-1590 AD French Dr. Ambroise Pare one of the founders of modern surgery, used massage, particularly friction massage, in the treatment of stiff and injured joints.

1776-1839 AD Swedish fencing master and gymnastics teacher Per Henrik Ling designed the Swedish Movement System and Dutch practitioner Johan Georg Mezger, adopted the French names of basic strokes under which he systemized massage as we know it today, as Swedish or classic massage.

Mid 1800’s to mid 1900’s – Many behaviorists, from Luther Emmett Holt, John Watson, to Dr. Benjamin Spock recommended less handling of babies in favor of training them to master schedules of eating and sleeping.  During the nineteenth century, many babies died of Marasmus, a wasting away generally by neglect and as a result Dr. Fritz Talbot in 1910 changed the care of babies in german hospitals in favor of handling, carrying, and rocking babies.  “Tender Loving Care” in the children’s clinic in Dusseldorf , Germany found that babies who were rocked after nursing generally had less colic, intestinal spasm, and became happier babies than those who remained in their beds without rocking.

1957 – Dr. Harry Harlow’s studies showed baby monkeys preferred a soft cloth artificial mother to food from a wire artificial mother.  Since then, numerous studies with human babies have repeatedly shown the benefits of touch, carrying, rocking and massage.

At Family Massage Education Center, massage for the entire family is our passion! We offer several classes for families to learn, in a nurturing and encouraging environment, how to help each other give and receive the many benefits of massage. Check out our schedule to find a class just right for you. Call us at 541-482-3567 to register.

An Idea for Date Night

What are you doing on Friday night for two hours? Dinner? Movie? Concert? Play?

How much do you think those options would cost you? $40? $60? $100? More?

I’m here to suggest another option that is not only fun, relaxing, financially practical, and unusual (for a typical date night) but also comes with some long term health benefits for you and your date. Learn basic massage!

Here at Family Massage Education Center, we have a two hour massage class for beginners, every Friday night from 630-830pm, for $55 per pair. We teach basic massage techniques to use at home, to improve health and happiness, and promote loving relationships with respect and trusting commmunication. We provide the massage oil, the massage table, sheets for those tables, and nurturing instruction presented in a relaxed, enjoyable, and fun environment by an experienced massage therapist who teaches massage locally and internationally.  Not only will you learn basic massage and proper body mechanics (so you don’t get tired giving a massage), but you will also get a massage in the process!

Register for a Friday date night by calling 541-482-3567, or online.


We offer more classes for the public at Family Massage Education Center, please see our offerings at:

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