The International Association of Infant Massage is a collective consisting of ten of thousands of people from around the world who are passionate about ensuring that every baby receives nurturing touch as a fundamental human right. They share the sentiments as expressed by the Association's founder Vimala McClure in her vision stated here:
‘I believe that by fostering and encouraging Infant Massage and other cultural traditions which enhance the parent-baby bond and by helping to create more family-centered values in our culture, we will begin to see whole generations expressing more compassion toward and responsibility for their fellow human beings.
I believe in supporting parents in their love for their infants. I believe that babies are aware human beings who deserve respect, tenderness, and warmth, and above all, a listening heart. When we listen to our infants with our hearts, we discover whatever it is that we want to know.
I believe that every parent, regardless of personal philosophy, and every infant, regardless of birth history or disposition, should have the opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits that come from early bonds that are loving, healthy and secure.’
Beneath is an illustration which portrays the different sections of our association and how they interconnect with one another. We consider each of the petals to have specific yet equally important roles in serving the babies, children and families who are in the centre of the flower as well as supporting main caregivers for those babies who cannot receive the special art of massage from their parents.
‘The purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and communication through training, education and research; so parents, caregivers and children are loved, valued and respected throughout the world community.’
This was written by over one hundred Certified Infant Massage Instructors during the first IAIM General Assembly held in Orlando, Florida, in 1992
The International Association of Infant Massage was founded by Vimala McClure the author of the book ‘Infant Massage - A Handbook for Loving Parents. After witnessing babies being massaged whilst she was working in an orphanage in India in the ‘70’s, she had the vision that all babies in the world should experience the obvious benefits of nurturing touch. Vimala described how she "hadto do something for others to realise one's greatest potential. and to contribute to the welfare of humanity”.
Audrey Downes, a registered nurse and instructor in the United States, and other dedicated instructors helped her to give birth to the International Association of Infant Massage, first incorporated in the USA in 1986 as a non-profit tax exempt organization. The United States held the International Office until 1992, when it was moved to Sweden. The first IAIM Bylaws were then introduced.