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Sixty one-month-old normal infants were randomly assigned to a massage group with oil and a massage group without oil. Massage had a soothing/calming influence on the infants, particularly when given with oil. The infants who received massage with oil were less active, showed fewer stress behaviors and head averting, and their saliva cortisol levels decreased more. In addition, vagal activity increased more following massage with oil versus massage without oil.
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Tiffany Field, Ph.D., Saul Schanberg, Marisabel Davalos, and Julie Malphurs
Tiffany M. Field, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine. She is a Professor of Pediatrics, Psychology and Psychiatry. Saul Schanberg is with Duke University Medical School, Marisabel Davalos and Julie Malphurs are with the Touch Research Institute. Address correspondence to Tiffany Field, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101.