Kid Stuff

Infant massage educator Suzanne P. Reese is releasing a CD, Talk to Me, with music intended to be sung along while massaging infants. The album is a musical follow-up to her book Baby Massage: Soothing Strokes for Healthy Growth.

According to Reese, who lives in Ramona, “Baby massage is an age-old practice with scientifically documented benefits. Nurturing, compassionate touch positively impacts the baby’s physiological and neurological development, helps to soothe gas and colic symptoms, promotes restful sleep, and facilitates healthy attachment and bonding [with caregivers].”

The Talk to Me CD, on the Pacific Coast Jazz label, is available individually at music retailers or with Reese’s book at compassionatechild.com. Reese will host a free infant massage class from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 27, at the Carmel Mountain Ranch/Sabre Springs Recreation Center.

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Reese - licensed and registered as a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) - instructs parents that infant massage can help children become more compassionate adults. “It has been scientifically documented that how a child is cared for directly influences their ability to care for themselves and others. Nurturing touch fosters the innate capacity for love and compassion that all children are born to share…I believe that helping to facilitate compassionate touch is one step towards creating a gentler, more loving world in which to live and raise children.”

One of Reese’s campaigns for compassion was to gather with friends in Hillcrest to offer passersby “free hugs,” as written on signs they carried. “Most people, I’d say 8 out of 10, hugged,” she says. “People in cars passing by honked, shot photos with their cell phone cameras, gave us thumbs-up and waved. Some people shook their heads and furrowed their brows like ‘no way, this is ridiculous.’ Some people, when offered a hug, just kept moving, no eye contact, stiff body language…A cop car drove by, and I thought ‘Oh geesh, we’re going to get asked to leave,’ but we didn’t. That was a relief. Hey, we should have offered that cop a hug!”

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