Oil massage is a low cost traditional practice well ingrained in Indian culture.Massage has several positive effects in terms of weight gain, better sleep-wake pattern, enhanced neuromotor developmentand better emotional bonding. Thereforemassage should preferbly be given by the mother or member of the family.
Organically grown preferably unscented vegetable oils are the best. Cocunut oil is popular all over the country and Til oil is popular in south .However mustard oil contains allilisothiocyanate which can cause contact dermatitis. Olive oil contains oleic acid which can damage immature skin( disintegrates layer of startum corneum).
A conducive environment needs to be established before initiation of massage. A room with soft light, warm temperature, and low noise levels is ideal.
Traditionally is given before the bath but ideally should be given after the bath for the better absorption of the oil.
It should be done gently.Do not apply too much force as it can injure the soft tissue and may cause fracture.