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Spa treatment lolls toddlers to sleep

LUBBOCK, Texas, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A U.S. child development researcher says massage can help young children fall asleep.

Sybil Hart of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, offers 12 techniques to help young children to sleep at bedtime.

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Hart says research has shown that massages can help ease pain and anxiety in children and improve their cognitive performance. However, she said, the trick is coaxing a restless toddler into sitting still long enough to receive a massage.

"How do you sit an active, rambunctious 2-year-old down and give them a massage?" Hart says in a statement. "Children are the people on Earth who need massages most and they often get them the least."

The program entitled "Lullaby Massage: Rhyme & Touch Massage for Infants and Children," combines rhyming lyrics -- which act as instructions for the parents and distractions for the children -- with motions mimicking activities such as painting or answering the phone to accomplish the massage.

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