Step by Step of Shantala: Make This Relaxing Massage On Your Baby
This ancient massage strengthens the bond between the caregiver and the baby, helping the baby relax and sleep better.
Shantala was born in India and has been promoting well-being all over the world.
Since 1993, with the launch of the Mamãe e Bebê line, Natura believes in this massage as a way to strengthen the bond between caregivers and babies. The little ones who receive this care sleep and breathe better and have a stronger relationship with the person who performs it. In addition, the movements performed in the baby's abdominal region facilitate the elimination of gases and reduce unpleasant cramps, so common in the first months of the child's life.
The technique is old. It was practiced in India and promoted worldwide by the French obstetrician Frédérick Leboyer in the 1970s. Even today, it is considered a therapy that brings well-being to both those who receive massage and those who do it.
Several studies also report other benefits of Shantala, such as strengthening the immune system, improving digestion and stimulating the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Some even say that the massage facilitates breastfeeding, relieves stress and even activates the production of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of joy and well-being.
- Make time to perform the ritual without haste. Thus, you will enjoy every movement, without anxiety. We recommend at least one hour.
- Do not massage the baby immediately after breastfeeding. Wait for at least one hour after breastfeeding to perform the massage.
- If it is cold, heat the room where the Shantala will be held.
- Cover the floor where you will sit with a mat (gym type) or a comforter. As the position (legs straight and spine upright) may not be very comfortable, use pillows on the back for support.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Remove rings and bracelets and wash your hands very well.
- Leave a bottle of vegan massage oil handy.
- Separate two cloth diapers.
- Sit in the position as comfortable as possible.
- Support the baby on your legs, facing you, so you can look at each other, in silence.
- Rub the oil on your hands and rub them to warm them.
- Start the movements, keeping the same rhythm, from the beginning to the end of the massage. Just accentuate the pressure naturally, without force.
- With your hands flat on the center of your chest, slide them simultaneously towards your armpits.
- Repeat the movement, towards the shoulders. It is as if you had an open book in front of him, making the move to make the pages very flat.
- Then, slide your left hand across the baby's body from his right hip to his left shoulder (which will be on your right). Repeat the movement with the other hand and alternate them, forming an imaginary x. Hands work one after the other as if they were waves.
- Turn the baby on his side and, with one hand, gently hold the baby's hand. Using the other hand, wrap the shoulder and slide, wrapping the arm towards the wrist, like a bracelet. At the end of the movement, your two hands are holding the child's little hand.
- Then, make circular movements with both hands, moving one in the opposite direction from the other, from shoulder to wrist, as if twisting the arm (without force, of course). Repeat the movement and trim the wrist area.
- Turn the baby over and repeat on the other side.
- Massage one hand at a time with your thumbs, from the palm to the fingers. Then, slide your palm over your child's.
- With the baby again positioned with the tummy upwards, slide your hands alternately across the belly, from the base of the chest, where the ribs begin, to the lower part of the belly, pressing gently, as if you were going to empty it.
- With one hand, hold the baby's legs together upwards and use your forearm to massage the baby's belly from top to bottom.
- Repeat in the legs the same movements of the massage done in the arms. From thighs to feet, slide your hands alternately, closed like a bracelet.
- Make the circular movement with both hands in opposite directions, always surrounding the child's leg as a twist, starting at the thigh and ending at the foot. Persist in the ankle and heel region.
- Repeat the movements on the other leg.
- With your thumbs, massage one baby's foot at a time, from the heel to the toes, and then with the entire palm.
- Put light pressure on the tip of each finger, from the thumb to the pinky.
- This region is special. It is worth taking extra care here. Turn the baby face down with his head turned to his left side, across with your legs.
- Slide the palms of your hands on the baby's back, in movements up and down, from the shoulders to the bottom. That is, your hands, while alternately rising and falling, move to the right, going and coming back three times.
- With your right hand, smack the buttocks while the other hand travels the back, from the neck to the butt, in movements from right to left, massaging from the kidneys to the shoulder blades. The slower and more continuous the movement, the deeper the effect.
- Now, hold the baby's heels while the left hand extends the movement from the neck to the feet.
- Back to the starting position (belly up), massage the forehead. Make movements with your index and middle fingers in the shape of a half-moon. First, starting from the middle of the forehead, contour the eyebrows and circle the eyes, returning to the middle. With each turn, your fingers move a little further away from the baby's eyes, sliding up to the cheeks and then up to the chin.
- With your thumbs, move very lightly along the sides of the nose, from the forehead to the corners of the mouth, from top to bottom and from bottom to top.
- Lightly run your thumbs over the baby's eyes, from the forehead to the chin, passing through the outer lines of the nose. If the baby's eyes are open, the movement should close them gently.
- Hold the baby's hands and cross the arms alternately over the baby's chest. Then open them again and return to the starting position.
- Hold one of the baby's feet and the hand on the opposite side, crossing the two. The foot goes up towards the opposite shoulder and the hand goes down towards the butt. Repeat alternating sides.
- Hold the baby's two feet, crossing the legs in the lotus position and take them towards the belly. Then, on the contrary, extend and spread his legs. Repeat alternating legs. Always with sensitivity, delicacy, and vigor.
- End this Shantala moment with an immersion bath, in the bathtub or bucket. Ensure safety by supporting your forearm under the baby's shoulder and neck and holding it by the armpits. Let the baby float.