The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM)
The Infant Massage program is based on the work of Vimala Schneider McClure. She worked in an orphanage in northern India in the 1970’s, where she witnessed a 12 year old girl massaging all the other children. These children thrived, even though they had the lack of proper nutrition. Vimala attributed this to the massage they received.
When Vimala returned to the United States, she introduced the age-old practice of infant massage to the West. She says, she had a need to "do something for others, to realise one's greatest potential and to contribute to the welfare of humanity."
At first Vimala taught parents the art of infant massage out of her home. Through her experiences in India, she incorporated Indian Massage, Swedish Massage, Reflexology and Yoga into the massage routine. She named the strokes and put them in an order she felt would be most suitable for babies, and also designed a special routine for colicky babies. In 1978, at the request of Audrey Downes and other nurses and childbirth educators, she developed a training program and began to train instructors to teach it.
In that same year (1978) Vimala wrote her groundbreaking first book, "Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents." The theory, curriculum and focus that Vimala writes about are unique and have been carefully developed and refined through research and practical experience since first introduced in 1976.
The work of infant massage expanded globally and in 1992 the International Office for the International Association of Infant Massage was opened in Sweden.
To date the organization has instructors and representatives in 44 countries and chapters in over 22.
Dr. Tiffany Field, at the Touch Research Institute at the Miami School of Medicine, is one of the leading authorities and researchers in the field of touch. She became interested in the work of the International Association of Infant Massage and in the 1990's she achieved national acclaim for her research on touch therapy. Research efforts that began in 1982 and continue today have shown that touch therapy has numerous beneficial effects on health and well-being, which has validated the work of Infant Massage giving it international credibility.