About the IAIM

What is the IAIM

The International Association of Infant Massage is a global organisation and the world-class standard for the training and teaching of baby massage.

The IAIM honour the origins and cultrual heritage of infant massage on each training course.

The IAIM International Board oversees the work of the many ‘Chapters’, which are based in different countries all over the world. Each Chapter has a Committee which runs the Association within their individual country. They vary in size, with the UK Chapter being one of the largest. The Association is growing steadily and each year there are an ever increasing number of International Trainers, Chapters, Chapter Representatives and Infant Massage Instructors.

The IAIM holds a biennial International Conference, which is hosted by a different country each time. This is an excellent opportunity for Members from all over the world to come together to strengthen their bonds, share their experiences and enhance their work and practice by hearing eminent speakers on subjects relating to baby massage.

Although the practice of massaging babies has existed for centuries in many countries around the world, the IAIM’s founder, Vimala McClure, was the first to develop a programme for teaching parents how to massage their babies. One of the wonderful things about the IAIM is that the same programme is currently taught in over 70 different countries around the world, and the number continues to grow year by year.

The IAIM lives by the principles upon which their work is based, striving to work together to support parents in creating a nurturing environment for them and their child.

For further international information please visit the international website at: www.iaim.net

The History of the IAIM

The IAIM was founded in the early 1980s by the remarkable Vimala McClure, following her experiences while working in an orphanage in northern India. The pivotal moment was when she observed one young mother sitting on the rough ground outside her simple dwelling with her baby across her knees, lovingly massaging him and singing.

In her book, “Infant Massage – A Handbook for Loving Parents”, Vimala describes more fully how this experience led her to return home to Colorado “with joyful anticipation of the future”. The seeds had been sown for the creation of the IAIM. Vimala set about combining her practical experiences, the positive effects of Indian and Swedish massage, as well as the principles of yoga and reflexology, into a simple and beautiful routine. She named the strokes, designed a special approach for babies with colic or symptoms of colic, and developed the ‘Touch Relaxation’ technique. By 1978 all these became the basis for the core curriculum of the association and developed into a complete course for teaching parents the art of baby massage.

Another inspiring lady, Audrey Downes, recognised the importance of constructing a viable framework to establish an association for the continuation and expansion of Vimala’s work. She took on the task of directing the organisation and sponsored the first instructor training in California in 1981. Around this time Vimala retired from training instructors due to her ill health, but by now there were others trained to continue her work. There are now more than 60 international trainers.

To this day, trainers and instructors continue to work towards realising Vimala’s Vision:

Vimala’s Vision

“I believe that by fostering and encouraging Infant Massage and other cultural traditions which enhance the parent-baby bond, and by helping create more family-centred 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.”

In 1992 the IAIM became an Internationally established organisation with affiliated Chapters in many countries around the world. A mission statement was created.

IAIM Mission Statement

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.