8 films, 10 books, numerous appearances in nationwide television programs and publications Peter Walker has accomplished much more than the average. Since studying yoga and ‘Psycho-Gymnastics’ in the 1970s, Peter has been interested in the healing benefits of yoga and massage. After studying 10 years under the renowned psychiatrist R D Laing and introducing yoga and massage to many therapeutic communities, Peter began introducing massage and movement to mothers and babies. He soon founded the International School of Developmental Baby Massage and Movement and began instructing teachers. His focus has revolved around babies with development delay and additional needs.
Having travelled around the globe delivering his unique techniques of Developmental Baby Massage, he is joining Babyem on the 24th & 25th of September in Central London to instruct our candidates. We had the opportunity to chat with Peter Walker and discuss his experience and perspectives on mother-baby relationships.
B: What got you initially interested in helping mothers and babies and, more specifically, those of additional needs?
PW: I began teaching baby massage as part of my postnatal yoga classes. It was very well received and in the course of time some mothers came looking to help their children with ‘additional needs’ through the medium of massage.
B: What encouraged you to found the International School of Developmental Baby Massage and Movement?
PW: As my approach to ‘baby massage’ became more popular I decided to teach other teachers (I’m credited with the free teaching of this in all UK children’s centres). As many of these came from abroad, I wanted a more international certification.
B: You encourage closer family relationships, why do you suppose this helps so much in your programme?
PW: The relationship between a mother and child is first and foremost the most important relationship that we have. As it is of such significance to the health and development of our children it is obvious that this relationship must be supported from conception. Firstly from within the family and also from society at large.
B: How do you think the massage workshop will add value to being a maternity nurse
PW: This allows mother baby relationships to develop through the power of touch. It supports this relationship and the child’s development from birth. It can ‘bring to light’ and provide a means of early intervention for obvious signs of stiffness/floppiness – or any suspicion of developmental delay.
B: What do you think people will benefit from the most by taking your class?
PW: The ability to help mothers develop their touch. To open their hands, turn off that mental dialogue that inhibits ‘feeling.’ To enter more into their baby’s ‘world’ and enjoy all the benefits that this brings.
B: What is your most memorable case and why is it so memorable for you?
PW: A beautiful little girl was stillborn but through the power of her mother’s touch and dedication went on to University.
B: What is your advice to child carers who are interacting with children with developmental delay?
PW: Know and understand that this is a problem in communication and that these children are present despite that fact that many are unable to respond.
B: You’ve been doing this for over 30 years, what would you say is the most important thing you’ve learning so far on this journey?
PW: Support mothers from conception – so much depends upon this relationship
B: You’re currently filming a documentary, what is it about?
PW: It is about the power of the mother’s healing touch.
B: You’ve been very fundamental to the practice of baby massage. How have you seen this practice grow/develop?
PW: From it being thought of as a ‘middle class fad’ to it’s recognition as an essential part of childcare and a valuable therapeutic tool for intervention where necessary
Join Peter Walker for Baby Massage Teacher Training on the 24th & 25th of September.
*Be sure to book your spot here*