In the womb, amniotic pressure on a baby's skin stimulates the release of insulin, glucose & growth hormone. Born too early, a preterm baby no longer receives this whole-body stimulus. Massage simply mimics it.
Research by the University of Miami's Touch Institute found that 3 sessions of massage (of just 15 minutes each time) for 10 days in a row increased pre-term babies' weight gain by an incredible 47%. And what's more, at 8 months old, those babies still had a weight-advantage over the control group.
What that means in real terms for medical care settings is an average 6 day earlier release home for preterm babies, saving approx $3000/baby. Significant impact for such a low-cost therapy!