Studies conducted with premature infants and massage are showing extremely positive results.
Odense Hospital in Denmark researched the outcomes of containment (holding techniques) with preemies. It was observed that containment techniques, which did not stimulate newborn reflexes, resulted in a momentary decrease in blood oxygen level followed by a level of oxygen in the blood that was in fact higher than before the infant had been touched. The infant's bodies remained calm and relaxed and when parents continued using the technique the infants progressed to achieving an alert and awake state.
IMIS recommends that holding techniques are practiced initially to allow the baby to become accustomed to positive touch and then, only when the baby is ready, are massage techniques slowly introduced to achieve the most positive health results.