Tim Brunson DCH

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Effects of Meridian Massage on physical growth and the infant's health as perceived by his mother.

Background: Meridian Massage is a traditional practice that manually stimulates the body's meridian system - the same network of vital energy channels used in acupuncture. The present study was to assess the effect of Meridian Massage on the physical growth and infant's health as perceived by mothers. Methods: A study was conducted in a community health center in Korea. 169 healthy infant-mother dyads were assigned to Meridian massage group (n=89) or a gentle touch massage group (n=80), based on mother's preference. All massage were conducted by their mothers for 15 minutes per session, one time daily over a course of 6 weeks. In each group, the infant's weights, heights, and the number of days with illness as perceived by mothers and related clinic visits were measured. Results: Significant differences were observed in weight and height after 6 weeks between the Meridian group and gentle touch massage group (p<.001). Infants in the Meridian massage group showed significantly different number of days with perceived clinic visits compared to those in the control group (p<.001). Conclusions: Meridian Massage may facilitate physical growth and improve infant's health outcome as perceived by mothers. A randomized controlled trial is required to further explore the effects of Meridian Massage in early infancy.

Pediatr Int. 2011 Sep 14. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2011.03477.x. Cho KJ, Ji ES, Lee MH. Post doctoral fellow, College of nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA Professor, College of nursing science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Shinsung College, Dangjin, South Korea.

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