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Soothing touch 

Next time your baby is wailing uncontrollably and having trouble sleeping late at night, try to rationalize with him or her. Explain the importance of a good night’s sleep. Cite medical studies, if necessary.

That didn’t work, did it? As it turns out, babies don’t respond to the same stimuli as adults do. They don’t understand language and couldn’t care less about PowerPoint presentations and pie charts.

- SOOTHING HANDS :  Jayna Troutman teaches parents how to massage their babies. -  - PHOTO COURTESY JAYNA TROUTMAN
  • SOOTHING HANDS : Jayna Troutman teaches parents how to massage their babies.

But they do respond to touch.

“Touch is the most important sense we have, a primal, biological need,” said Jayna Troutman, a licensed infant massage therapist. “Life is all so overwhelming and stressful and confusing to infants. They need to be calmed.”

Troutman worked for several years as a child development specialist with special needs children before becoming a licensed masseuse. In her mind, there was no connection between the two jobs—until a client suggested they combine.

Troutman did some research and found that infant massage was already a medically proven practice, though fairly uncommon. She sent New Times the results of several studies that show how massage techniques can improve sleeping patterns, relieve gastric cramping, and strengthen the bond between parent and child.

“It’s really the most powerful tool a new parent can use, especially for special needs children,” Troutman said. “There are so many benefits on so many levels.”

Since attending a three-day training seminar and getting her license from the International Association of Infant Massage, she’s established a series of courses for local parents. In San Luis Obispo, she offers Tuesday morning classes at the Santa Lucia Birth Center and Wednesday evening classes at SLO Chiropractic. On Friday mornings, she holds a class at the Energies Rising Holistic Center in Grover Beach.

A series of five classes costs $125, with each class focusing on a different part of the body. It’s a parent-driven experience, as Troutman never actually touches the babies, but describes different holds and touch techniques and teaches parents how to respond to the cues of their child, providing the tailored comfort they crave.

In addition to the benefits for the babies, parents are able to use the class as a fun, unique way to meet other new parents and establish new friendships.

“I really have the background, heart, and passion for this,” Troutman said. “I believe it will make the whole community stronger.”

For more information on Jayna Troutman’s classes, call 1-805-459-1959 or e-mail


Fast facts

Send your child to a place no kid has gone before: space, the final frontier. The Academy of Future Space Explorers summer camp will take place July 11 to 15 at the Exploration Station in Grover Beach, which features hands-on learning activities and demonstrations. Kids will learn about space travel, stars, the atmosphere, and more. Suitable for children ages 5 to 12, this camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $150 for five days of fun. …

A Santa Barbara author and veterinarian, Dr. Bud Stuart, has published a new book called Feeding Fido and Fluffy Too: Plus Lots More, which explains the medical benefits of proper nutrition for pets. It outlines what kinds of foods are best for animals and will lead to a happy, healthy life. The book is available to buy at


Contributing writer Nick Powell compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your nonprofit and business news to

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