Effect on Preterm Infants
A 2012 Detroit study examined preterm infants who were given massage five times a week versus a control group who weren’t. Some evaluations, such as number of infections and length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, were not different between the groups. But others were. The group receiving massage showed higher NK (natural killer) cytotoxicity, meaning their immune systems were stronger than the control group. Additionally, the infants in the massage group were heavier at the end of the study and exhibited greater daily weight gain.