Feelings of Wellness Center - Joy4Peace

Infant Massage


Hands and Baby's Feet

"Among all the senses, touch stands paramount"

Touch is one of the most essential elements of human development, a profound method of communication, a critical component of the health and growth of infants, and a powerful healing force (Bowlby, 1952; Harlow, 1971, 1986).

Ample research has demonstrated that tactile stimulation is extremely important for development and maintenance of physiological and psychological regulation in infants, children and adults (Field, 1998, 2003; Montagu, 1971, 1986). Touch has been an essential part of ancient healing practices. Touch has roots in shamanic and religious practices, and is reported to have been an integral part of health care practices and medicine since their emergence from the realms of religion and magic (Levitan & Johnson, 1986; Smith, Clance & Imes, 1998).



International Association of Infant Massage

I am a certified Infant Massage Instructor through the International Association of Infant Massage, IAIM.



Vimala McClure

The founder of IAIM, Vimala McClure, went to India in 1973 when she was 21. She looked after children in an orphanage there. They all had little to eat and she with others would starve so the children could eat.

Vimala succumbed to malaria and when she was delirious all the women in the neighborhood came to massage her and sing to her until her fever broke. She will never forget the feeling of their hands and hearts touching her.

When she was leaving India she noticed a young mother sitting in the dirt at the side of the road where she and her baby lived, and the mother had the baby across her knees loving massaging him and singing.

There is much more to life than material wealth. This mother had so little, yet she could offer her baby this beautiful gift of love and security, a gift that would help to make him a more compassionate human being. Vimala’s passion and commitment to Infant massage was born.

Vimala’s vision is:
That by fostering and encouraging Infant Massage and other cultural traditions which enhance the parent-baby bond, and by helping 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



My Services as a qualified Infant Massage Instructor are:

Classes held at 22 Manse St, Dunedin (click here for a Google Map of the location)
or at your home in the Dunedin area

Classes arranged by appointment

Every Infant Massage course runs for 5 weeks

Cost for an hour long session is at $20 (waged), or $15 for those on a benefit

Please contact me for further information and appointments

Please Note:

If your baby needs to be feed at any time during these learning sessions, you stop and tend to your baby's needs. If your baby is sleeping when you arrive, don't disturb them - I have lifesize baby dolls for you to learn the massage strokes.

At the end of the sessions parents are offered a nice shoulder / arm massage.

Neck massage


My Mission Statement

To promote nurturing touch and communication through massage and voice, so that parents, caregivers and children feel loved, valued and respected throughout the community.

I personally want to share my 37-years of passion for parenthood and the benefits it brings through being loving and respectful to the infant and ourselves.


Even the older children loved being massaged, as seen in the picture below of Wolfgang, my youngest grandchild, being massaged:



Dad Makes a Difference

Study Shows Infant Massage Bonds Fathers and Newborns

Father's Day "Touch Tips" from Touch Research Institutes, Boston Medical Center and Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute, L.L.C., New Brunswick, NJ, 2002

More and more fathers are learning and practicing infant massage, and a recent survey reveals that those who massage their babies early in life establish warm, positive relationships that continue as the child grows.

While the infant health benefits of a mother's massage are firmly established, new research shows that a father's touch is equally essential to a baby's health and well being. Health benefits for infants include fewer sleep problems, as well as strengthening and regulating the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. Fathers also gain from the experience of infant massage.

"As they learn to soothe their babies, fathers notice their own stress levels come down. Together they experience the calming, power of touch and begin to build life-long attachments," said Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine and co-author of a survey on father-infant massage.

The survey showed that fathers who used massage techniques with their infants for three months experienced increased self-esteem as parents due to increased involvement with their newborns. The babies, meanwhile, greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalizing and reaching responses.

In addition to the Touch Research Institutes, a growing number of hospitals are recognizing that infant massage is one way to give fathers more purpose and place in their babies' lives. One such hospital, Boston Medical Center, encourages fathers to play a hands-on role during labor and after the baby is born. "Too often all of the focus is on mothers, while fathers are left standing in the corner," says Susan O'Brien, M.D., of Boston Medical Center. "We give fathers a purpose and a place."

"Touch" is the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy, and research shows that touch is critical for a baby's growth and development. A previous study showed that premature infants who received 15-minute massages gained 47 percent more weight and became more socially responsive than non-massaged premature infants, and were discharged from the hospital an average of six days earlier than other premature babies.

Recently, the Touch Research Institutes, Boston Medical Center and the Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute, L.L.C., have teamed up to offer "Touch Tips:"

Important facts to keep in mind when massaging your infant:

A father's touch in infant massage also helps in giving Mom a break. In fact, expectant mothers can benefit directly themselves from massage by the father-to-be. Touch Research Institutes studies found that mothers who received massage from their mates during pregnancy and labor experienced less stress and shorter labors, used fewer medications and had fewer premature labors.

Information and educational material on father-infant attachment through touch therapy and infant massage can be found at www.jjpi.com.

Dad and Baby


Jacqueline Joy ~ www.joy4peace.com