Touch Early And Often

Increasing numbers of parents and doctors decide that massage is good medicine for babies

Huddled in a plexiglas incubator, 3 1/2-lb. Andreah Moran is, at nine days, so fragile that she looks as if her twig-thin arms and legs would snap from one false move. But gingerly navigating the tangle of blue electrodes attached to the infant's chest, John Dieter, a researcher at the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute, firmly massages those arms and legs and rubs Andreah's back and her tiny head. The baby sighs, parts her withered lips and begins a slow drool.

Infant massage? It sounds more like a New Age ritual than an internationally recognized alternative therapy. But studies at...

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