A Banbury entrepreneur has opened a massage club that caters only for babies and pre-crawling tots.
Tickles for Pickles Baby Massage Club in Banbury’s White Lion Walk was opened in September above E Collins Photography by Jemma Hibberd.
The studio, which resembles a nursery, bedecked with soft furnishings and resplendent in purple, currently hosts ten tots and accompanying parents, during four weekly 70-minute sessions.
Jemma, a mother of two, had herself participated in mother/baby massage classes with her son but her path from student to teacher is rather convoluted.
Jemma said: “I’ve always been a children’s entertainer and I’m a singer as well, so I’ve always been entertaining people, around people.
“I studied musical theatre at university and I was doing music classes with children in other halls which was great but there is a lot of music classes in Banbury and I wanted to do something different, especially with the children’s centre shutting down, they offered massage classes.”
With the encouragement of her network of friends Jemma enrolled herself on a training course and after three intensive months became a certified baby massage therapist.
Jemma said: “I know so many mums and people were coming to me saying ‘have you thought about baby massage because no one does it. So I trained in it and graduated in September.”
Massaging enables the baby to relax, sleep better and can help to alleviate a number of common ailments.
Jemma said: “When a baby is born into this crazy environment, baby massage brings it back down. It’s all about bonding and touch, their first communication skill is through touch.
“Touch is essential when they’re born. They want to be cuddled, they want to be held.
“So it helps with bonding, especially premature babies, young mums and mums with depression, it’s really good for that.”
Jemma massages children as young as two weeks old all the way through to crawling stage. After a baby has learnt to crawl it is impossible for him or her to remain stationary for any length of time. Jemma also holds classes in Hanwell village hall for crawlers and very early walkers.
For more information visit the Tickles for Pickles Facebook page.