BODY RHYTHM DEVELOPMENT
The natural rhythm of rocking contributes to your child’s overall sense of Body Rhythm – a critical foundation for his physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. Body Rhythm begins in utero by the constancy of your steady heartbeat, and serves as a source of soothing comfort each time he hears it. More, as you rock together you are creating a rhythm all your own.
SENSE OF BALANCE
Babies are not born with a sense of balance. It must be developed. Gentle, slow rhythmic rocking is one of the best, early activities you can provide to help them build foundations for balance and “get their bearings.”
Rocking triggers a calming effect in the parasympathetic nervous system. Soothing your child when he is stressed is essential for his overall well-being, and in this strange new world he’s been born into, rocking most closely resembles the familiar, comforting sensations of the womb.
REDUCE C-SECTION HOSPITAL STAY
In an article in the “Physical Therapy Review” 40:818, 1960; a study of women who had cesarean sections showed a faster recovery if they spent an hour a day rocking. A follow-up study in Galveston, Texas in December of 1990 followed women who had cesarean sections and showed that rocking mothers had less gas pains, walked faster, and left the hospital one day sooner than non-rocking mothers. This article was published in the “Journal of Prenatal Nursing” on December 24, December 1990.
SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
The back and forth motion of a rocking chair provides social, emotional and motor development. It helps calm crying babies, makes them smile and hold their heads up.
FETAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT
Rocking has prenatal benefits in that it is believed to promote the development of the fetal nervous system. It has been quoted that Anne Ayres; an American nerve psychologist recommends that at the start of the 10th week of pregnancy, women should rock 5-10 minutes twice a day.
Many pregnancy support articles and websites recommend rocking in a rocking chair to prevent the development of varicose veins by stimulating circulation and improving muscle tone.
Rocking releases endorphins in the brain which can improve mood and reduce stress and pain.
BATTLE ARTHRITIS AND BACK PAIN
Using a rocking chair increases blood flow around the body, thus sending more oxygen to the joints, which can help ease the symptoms of arthritis. The slight physical exertion of rocking also helps to build up strength and flexibility in the knees, whilst rocking helps prevent pain signals traveling from the back to the brain.
Following on from the soothing effect rocking chairs can have on babies, researchers have found that rocking can foster deeper sleep.
Rocking can help those suffering from dementia. A study conducted by the University of Rochester found that residents of a nursing home who had been diagnosed with dementia showed increased emotional and psychological wellbeing when using rocking chairs compared to those who did not. Behaviors such as anxiety and depression were noticeably reduced by those rocking.