By Ian Chow, Certified Massage Therapist / Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Length: 3 mins read (614 words)
“Children are mirrors; they will always show you exactly what is going on inside of you. Each phase of their growth is an opportunity to heal your own pain, to go deeper inside yourself and become more truly human” – Vimala McClure
I first came across the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) (in which I am a member now) when I was searching for infant massage courses back in 2019. I went to their website, read the main page and their mission statement was among the first few items that captured my attention:
The purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and communication through training, education and research so that parents, caregivers and children are loved, valued and respected throughout the world community.
Two keywords that really resonate with me was “nurturing” and “respected”. I was thinking to myself, “Yes, we certainly can do with more of that in our society nowadays”. Furthermore, we are able to start with the baby when they are at a most susceptible stage to be molded; what we adult choose to do will have a direct influence on how their wellbeing (physically, mentally or perhaps even spiritually) is going to be in the future. Then, according to the mission statement, it is not only about the children (baby) but it is also having the same objectives apply to the parents and caregivers. To me, this certainly can have a positive effect on our society at large. I was sold on the spot with the statement.
I then signed up for a course to be trained as an infant massage instructor that was suppose to take place in 2020 but due to the pandemic, it was postponed. Finally, in Sept 2021, the course was held online. Yes, the learning curve is slightly steeper with digital but on the other hand, I also feel that this is the future direction with the looming pandemic. Hence, to a certain extend, it provided a good start, a good training as an instructor on how we can conduct the class once we graduate.
Currently, IAIM has a presence in more than 70 countries and is the largest and most experienced infant massage organization in the world. The Founder was Vimala McClure who was inspired and started embarking in this journey (with many others respective individuals) to develop to what it is today since the 1970s. The approach is practiced, tested, researched and proven for few decades now.
Under the definition within IAIM:
Who is an infant or a baby?
An infant or a baby is from newborn up to the age of one year.
Who is a parent?
In the IAIM mission statement, parents include birth, foster and adoptive parents
Who is a caregiver?
A caregiver is someone who is not the child’s parent but who provides care for a child
Who massages the baby?
The best person to massage a baby is the parent. When there is no parent, the best person to massage the child is the acting parent; the person who is raising the child and providing continuing care. Caregivers do not massage babies but may offer nurturing touch.
For all parents with baby below 1 year old or special need child below 7 years old, do get in touch with me to experience first hand on the benefits of infant massage: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also whatsapp me at 012-698 1426 (won’t be able to answer any direct call, please do WhatsApp instead). Alternatively, just look for any certified infant massage instructor by IAIM in your locale and sign up for a course now.
Ref: International Association of Infant Massage: https://iaim.net/