Testimonials & Stories
Jenny's Story - An Instructor's Experience
CIIM, OTR, AFHFL Program Developer and Trainer
I worked at a Bay Area clinic as an Physical Therapist where.
I also taught Infant Massage, in group and individual
classes, with typically developing children and those with special
needs. After completing my Certification as an Instructor of Infant
Massage with Kalena in 1997, I became committed to bringing Touch
Communication to as many families in my community as possible. A very
large part of my community consists of children with special needs. I
developed simple adaptations and key areas of attention based on the
Touch Communication I learned at the Level I
class. From this, Kalena and I developed AFHFL's Level
II class- Deepening Our Capacity for Successful Implementation with
families and their children with special needs. I currently live in El
Dorado Hills, CA and have a private clinic-based practice of my own
where I continue to teach Touch Communication on a regular basis.
Kalena and I have continued to develop several of our continuing
education courses as well as provide presentations to audiences outside
of the Instructor group. Infant Massage Communication continues to be a
guiding paradigm in both my professional and personal life.
Here's a story about Jenny and her mom, Liz, who attended the clinic when I worked there.
golden curls and a smile of pure sunshine, Jenny lit up the room
twice a week at the clinic where she received physical therapy. Jenny’s
smile frequently faded as she began her necessary therapy and exercise
program because she has a muscular disease that gradually makes her
muscles weaker and harder to control. At only two years old, Jenny’s
therapy program to build her muscles would probably make the best of
body builders shudder. One morning Jenny’s mom, Liz, came to PT early
and witnessed me finishing up an Infant Massage Class. Liz stopped me and asked if massage would be good for Jenny. She wanted to do something for Jenny that would make her feel good, instead just pushing her to work so hard in her therapy sessions. Happily, I told Liz that I would love to show her how to use Infant Massage/ Touch Communication with Jenny.
beginning to practice I.M./Touch Communication, Jenny's mother shared
with me that she was thrilled to now have time each day to gently
stroke Jenny’s skin and listen to Jenny 'talk' with her dear face, her
smiles and a few words. Having a time to focus on how perfect Jenny is
right in the moment of the exchange of loving communication
positively affected both of their lives.
With IM, Jenny cried less
during therapy workouts and she started making faster progress toward
standing up with her walker. Jenny sometimes still cried when therapy
was too hard, but she could get through it more easily. Her Mom felt
better about helping her through her therapy sessions, because she
now knew what to do and had the skills of sharing her love through
Massage and Touch Communication, and it always brought
the sunshine back to Jenny's smile.
I wanted to thank you again for the infant massage training. It was
amazing, truly a life-changing experience for me. I came to the training thinking I was going to be learning mostly about strokes and technique. Little did I know! I left feeling I had gained many tools to better not only my professional life and the way I can best reach out to others, but also my personal life in ways that will stay with me forever. The 4 days have positively impacted my life and increased my awareness in general. Thank you. The world is so lucky to have people like you in it. Your passion and compassion are an inspiration. Thank you for being who you are.
2 months post-training
Would recommend to anyone. You met us at our level beautifully. Such a gift to be able to meet the expectations and needs of such a diverse group! Thank you.
, Early Childhood Teacher, Physical & Health Impairments Teacher
I appreciate the deep level of thought and care in the development of the program, plus the intentional planning and organization. I commend Kalena for creating the perfect balance of science, professional and medical opinion and her pearls of experience. The support network HFL continues to provide will be helpful in the future.
, Early Intervention Specialist
This training has completely changed the way I perceive parent-child relationships and has affirmed that any change I can influence in the family system must start with the examination and facilitation of the attachment that exists between caregiver and child.
I did not expect to be so enlightened spiritually, emotionally and professionally.
Kalena presents the importance of touch to the development of children and healthy family relationships in such a profound and understandable way. Everything she presents is cohesive and evidence based. She gives me a renewed sense of hope for my work with children and families, and for our future.
I can see where Infant Massage and Touch Communication as taught by The Foundation for Healthy Family Living is one of the most effective practices available today for providing improved inter-family relationships and strengthening the stability of the family unit for years to come.
, Physical Therapist, Certified Cranio-Sacral Therapist
I really appreciated the detailed information about bonding, the articles and research that support the massage. Exceeded my expectations. Very important information, well organized.
, Program Director, PT
This program covers so much more than just becoming an infant massage instructor. I can truly say I’m walking away a different person.
Kalena is a gift sent from heaven. She is a true example of the good that comes from being true to ourselves. It is a breath of fresh air to spend time with someone like Kalena who is so passionate about what she does.
, RN, Pediatrics
This excellent training is pertinent for babies and families I serve, and also of tremendous benefit in my life personally. I appreciated not only learning the physiological benefits of touch massage, but also the significant benefits touch communication fosters for a child’s well-being, self worth and unconditional acceptance by parents/caregivers. I wish I knew this info when I was a new mother!
”Also, this class has taught me to be more in tune and comfortable in my own body (my own skin), facilitated by the physical touch techniques, emotional/touching stories and components (readings, music, etc.) and time for reflection.
, Speech/Language Specialist
I expected massage techniques and came away with a better understanding of the reasons and relationships behind it. I would like every parent to know this.