We all know that tummy massage is hugely beneficial for babies who suffer from colic, constipation or trapped wind, but actually it can be incredibly helpful to calm and soothe your baby when he/she is upset for any reason. Peter Walker, my baby massage tutor said 'relax the belly and you'll relax the baby'. But why the tummy is so responsive to touch and why tummy massage can be soothing?
We can find the answer in the nervous system.
Beside the Central Nervous System, your baby has another one called the Enteric Nervous System or also known as the Little Brain which is located in his/her abdomen and digestive tract. However this one is considered to be the more primitive from the two, its role cannot be underestimated. More impulses transmitted from the belly to the brain, then vice versa which means if the tummy is unhappy it will show up in your baby's mood.
The Little Brain is responsible for your baby's functions like digestion or elimination of waste products, but more importantly it has a key role in your little ones moods and well-being. It functions in an instinctive way, which means that it is responsible for baby's immediate communication to express their emotions and needs.
Obviously it has a close connection with the peripheral nervous system that enables it to respond to sensations like touch. So when you massage your baby's tummy, you are not only having an effect on his/her digestive tract but on the nervous system too.
For example in Eastern cultures for centuries the tummy has been considered to be the centre of energy and any dysfunction in it would have an impact on the whole well-being. So as you can see the tummy is really the powerhouse of the body, so keep the tummy happy and you'll keep the baby happy.