Body Sense

SUMMER | 2016

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B O D Y T A L K C O M P I L E D B Y B R A N D O N T W Y F O R D Massage Soothes Babies Born with Birth Defects from Zika Virus Mothers of babies born in Brazil with microcephaly are turning to alternative means of treatment for relief for their children, who are typically very sensitive to stimulus and are highly irritable. (Microcephaly is a birth defect thought to be linked to the Zika virus.) A parental therapy group called Room to be a Mother is providing free workshops in which they teach natural techniques to soothe infants. The techniques include a traditional rhythmic Indian massage for the babies, a sling that keeps them tightly held to their mother's chest for comfort, and the use of a specially shaped bucket for warm baths meant to mimic the womb. Therapist Rozely Fontoura says massage therapy is particularly helpful for the babies. "The production of endorphins and the reduction of cortisol helps a lot," she says. Read more at

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