Massage stimulation has been suggested to be used to promote the growth and development of preterm and low birth weight (LBW) infants. Some experts believe that infant massage can help develop the central nervous system, which increases vagal activity, improves hormone secretion, triggers the release of melatonin, and increases its production. Rhythmic endogenous melatonin secretion appears in term infants around 2-3 months of age, whereas preterm infants have delayed melatonin secretion, which persists after correction for 8 to 9 months of gestation. Massage stimulation increases vagal activity, which causes an increase in melatonin. Vagal activity then modulates pineal and extrapineal activity, resulting in melatonin production. Based on scientific evidence, current reviews suggest that massage stimulation can provide health benefits to newborns, particularly preterm infants. This article aims to review that massage stimulation can increase melatonin levels by activating vagal mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalBali Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Massage stimulation
  • melatonin
  • preterm
  • vagal activity


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