Although Infant, or "Baby Massage" is an ancient tradition in some cultures, it was not practiced in the West until the 1970s. Most Infant Massage Therapists are actually Instructors, who run classes that teach the parent or caregiver how to massage their own child. Instruction is important to learn about what massage oils can be used on a baby; some commercial preparations are actually too strong and may overload the liver or cause rashes.
The benefits for parents are also apparent, as a special focused time allocated for massage can deepen bonding. This can be especially useful for mothers with post partum depression and teenage mothers who are having difficulty developing parenting skills. Fathers who are separated from the baby as they work during the day, find that it alleviates their feelings of being left out. Studies have proven that babies who have close bonds with their parents (babies that have been held and massaged) grow into adults that are likely to be cooperative and well balanced individuals.