We are really excited to be partnering with Baby Massage instructor and massage therapist Jo Tasker, as our Neu Oil massage ambassador. Here we ask her a few questions about how she started out, her important work with babies and parents and how to build massage into a routine.
Mia: Jo, we'd love to know more about who you are, what you do and how you got there.
Jo: So I came to baby massage and mental health massage in a bit of a roundabout way. In 2018 my family and I experienced a significant trauma and in the recovery process from that I learnt about how we can physically hold trauma in our bodies.
This led me to research how massage can help us release that trauma. It was a process that I then incorporated into our family life and saw the benefits of. From here I wanted to carry on learning about mental health massage, receive more training and pursue it as a career.
I later had the opportunity to explore baby massage. I became passionate about intentionally creating a space for mother and baby where both can rest and recalibrate; a space that is as much about asking how you are doing as it is about asking how baby is doing.
Mia: You're a baby massage therapist - what does that look like?
Jo: It looks like a really safe space for mum and baby to be however they are at that moment. It's somewhere to talk about the joys and challenges of becoming a parent and to find support with others who are experiencing the same things you are.
It's also about learning skills that aid physical and mental development for the baby. For example, learning massage techniques that can soothe colic, increase rest and better support a baby's gut and stomach.
Mia: What do you love most about the practice of baby massage?
Jo: I love seeing the love and connection between parent and child. Being able to witness a moment between you and your child will always be incredibly precious.
Mia: How do essential oils compliment this practice?
Jo: New parents constantly come to me seeking solutions to problems and I often suggest aromatherapy oils as a natural and safe tool for them to use and explore. I recommend Baby Air all the time, because it can quickly help a baby who's experiencing any respiratory difficulties.
At a baby massage group a mum recently shared how her sister had given her some oils to use and they had totally cleared a cold. This is what I love about aromatherapy oils: they offer an alternative to Calpol to help your baby through a cold or illness.
Mia: What do you see parents struggle with most about baby massage? And do you have any top tips for combatting this?
Jo: It's very common for parents to be nervous of doing it wrong, because being a new parent is often overwhelming and we want to know we're doing it right. In this case, I encourage parents to take time to learn their baby's cues, the little things they do that suggest they like or dislike something. I encourage parents to not be frightened of doing it wrong, but to take it slow and notice your baby's cues as you go. And remember that any consensual, skin to skin, touch is positive and promotes a bonding connection.
The best way to integrate baby massage into your lives is to make it part of a routine. For example, mums have found incorporating it into a bath and bed routine to be very successful.
Additionally, taking time for yourself, to check in and look after your own health is one of the best places you can start. Because if you aren't in a good place, your baby will pick this up and react to it. Taking a moment with a Neu You
blend might be a great place for you to start. This process of self regulating is key to a good baby massage experience.
Mia: Jo, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions - we’ve learnt so much! And we love having you on board as our baby massage ambassador.
If you want to learn more about Jo’s practice visit her website here