IAIM UK – the UK’s leading authority on infant massage – turns 20 this summer, and continues to set the bar in its field of expertise; providing parents and professionals with world-class advice, education and training, while supporting important humanitarian projects.
The IAIM is the original and longest standing infant massage association in the world – with an international heritage dating back to the 1960’s – and still to this day is the only association in the world dedicated solely to infant massage.
Accredited by The Royal College of Midwives, the purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and touch communication through training, education and research; powering its belief that it is every baby’s fundamental birth right to receive nurturing touch. The IAIM UK Chapter will celebrate its landmark 20th anniversary in the UK on 5th July 2017.
The power of touch:
Babies and children need plenty of positive attention in order to grow into healthy and happy adults and the provision of nurturing touch through physical affection, cuddles and massage is an important aspect in child development.
Touch communication creates a sense of safety and security for babies, resulting in lower stress levels and the ability to self-soothe (note: studies show that nurturing touch reduces cortisol levels – the stress hormone – promoting the development of a healthy immune system). It also enables babies and their parents/primary caregivers to bond and form early attachment relationships, during what is the most sensitive period of baby’s social and emotional development.
Setting the bar in baby massage – world-class standards:
More and more baby massage instructors and replica-training providers are emerging in the UK, but none that can offer the trusted heritage, international expertise and ongoing professional standards of the IAIM.
The IAIM adheres to uncompromised ways of working that promote infant safety and wellbeing above all else.
Many of the infant massage strokes used and taught by the IAIM are unique to the Association, and are constantly monitored and modified in accordance with health professionals’ guidelines. What’s more, all qualified IAIM instructors are given on-going professional development to ensure their techniques are always the most relevant and of the highest standards.
Another point of difference for IAIM training and instructors is its belief in the importance of asking baby for permission to be touched. This teaches respect, and helps baby to begin to establish healthy social boundaries. Learning how to look for infant cues is therefore an important factor in establishing communication through touch.
Techniques such as these [spotting cues and tuning into intuition] go much deeper than the physical massage strokes themselves, and are skills that the IAIM believes can only be learned through real-life experience. It’s for this reason that the IAIM will never teach its programmes via online courses and two-dimensional video tutorials. All training is conducted face-to-face.
“I’m incredibly proud to be the patron of the IAIM’s UK Chapter, whose work continues to set the gold standard in matters of infant touch communication and child development. The IAIM is the world’s longest standing association, specialising purely in baby and infant touch – and with important projects in development, I’m certain the 20 year milestone is just the beginning.”
Sir Richard Bowlby, attachment theory expert, and Patron of the IAIM UK Chapter
The Association also runs a Humanitarian Fund which has been set up to support vital humanitarian causes in the UK and beyond; providing training programmes and support, in partnership with charities such as the British Red Cross, HIV charity Body and Soul, Refuge and the IAIM Kenyan Project.
For parents interested in taking part in an IAIM baby massage course with their baby, please visit our website www.iaimbabymassage.co.uk where you can search for your local Certified Infant Massage Instructor. For professionals interested in training with us to become an IAIM Certified Infant Massage Instructor, please call our UK Head Office on 020 8989 9597 or visit www.iaim.org.uk
“Every baby in the world should receive nurturing touch as its fundamental birth-right.”
Vimala McClure, founder of IAIM and best-selling author
For more information, quotes, case studies and testimonials – or if you are interested in taking a five week taster course with an IAIM trained instructor as part of a feature – please contact Sarah Egerton
Notes to Editors:
• The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) is a global organisation and the world-class standard for the training and teaching of infant massage.
• Vimala McClure founded the IAIM in 1986. Following her experience of working in an orphanage in northern India in 1973, Vimala brought the traditional practice of infant massage to the West. She has since written many books including Infant Massage – a Handbook for Loving Parents.
• The IAIM became an internationally established organisation in 1992 with the help of Audrey Downes, a registered nurse and IAIM Instructor, and other dedicated IAIM Instructors, who helped Vimala to begin the Association. The United States held the International Office until 1992, when it was moved to Sweden and the first IAIM Bylaws were introduced.
• The Association now has representatives in over 60 countries worldwide, which includes around 30 active Chapters consisting of tens of thousands of trained infant massage Instructors who are passionate about ensuring every baby receives nurturing touch as a fundamental birth-right. They share the sentiments expressed by the IAIM’s founder Vimala McClure in her vision.