Amy Hagerstrom is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist with specialized education in Touch Therapy for Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Certified Infant Massage Teacher residing in Chicago, IL.
Several years ago, Amy discovered through yoga that there is no separation between the mind and body.
It was this discovery that has sent her on an amazing journey to get to where she is now. She has experienced incredible amounts of self-growth and healing through yoga, somatic awareness, as well as massage therapy. And through her professional work as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Yoga Teacher has been able to help so many others with their own healing process.
Amy has great adoration and respect for children, and her work as a nanny, and role as an aunt, has made her realize that this lack of mind-body separation applies to them as well. She has received training and certification as a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist, as well as, pediatric massage for autism, teaching infant massage, and teaching yoga for children with special needs.
Additionally, Amy was just accepted to a Master’s in Social Work program where she will specialize in children and families. She will begin in the fall of 2016, and she is looking forward to combining somatic work and yoga to therapy techniques to help strengthen the bonds and dynamics between children and their caregivers.
Amy feels extremely honored and privileged to have been chosen for this outreach trip. She is excited to be able to share her heart, knowledge, and skills with the children and caretakers she meets in the Philippine. She's also looking forward to everything she will learn from the caretakers and her fellow volunteer ambassadors.
Why do you feel you would be an asset to the Liddle Kidz Foundation volunteer team?
In addition to being a CPMT who is also trained in teaching infant massage, I love and adore children. I’m really great with them, and I have so much empathy, care, and patience with them. Also, I just really respect them as people. Over the past few years I have done a lot of self-study on child development and gentle/respectful caretaking. I’ve also learned a lot through my pediatric massage classes about their growing bodies and needs.
I’ve traveled a lot, and I have an adventurous spirit and open mind. I love learning about ,and exploring new places and cultures, and I believe we have so much to learn from people who are “different” from us. Through my travels, and even just living in Chicago, I’ve met and gotten to know so many people of various cultural backgrounds, and they’ve made me view the world with so much more color and light. Also, having traveled in countries where I didn’t speak the language, I am very good at figuring things out when they don’t go as planned, after getting lost, missing buses, etc. I just made it part of the adventure!
Why would you like to participate in this outreach event?
There might be too many reasons for me to list! I very genuinely care about children, and I wish every child was treated with nothing but care, empathy, and understanding. I wish every child had more than adequate amounts of nurturing touch. And the thought of being able to help bring this to children throughout the Philippines makes my heart feel great and brings tears to my eyes. I’ve watched the Liddle Kidz Vietnam documentary twice, and both times I cried and felt my heart warm seeing and hearing what a difference you and the volunteers have made in the lives of the children there.
I’m really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to travel as much as I have; however, I would love to take that travel to a whole other level, one in which I can help make a huge difference in the lives of many many children and at the same time have the chance to really grow as a person in more ways than I can probably imagine.
Participating in this outreach program will be an amazing learning experience. It perspective on the countless ways this kind of adversity affects children, and I know that I will learn so much from the other volunteers, from their knowledge to the way they interact with the children, and so much more (this goes for personal growth as well).
Relevant qualifications and skills:
Massage Therapist - I've been working as a massage therapist for two years. Although most of my work has been with adults in spa settings, I have worked on children as young as fourteen in all three of my jobs (a chiropractor, Massage Envy, and Bliss Spa). Fortunately for most of them I was able to give them the proper care they deserved with my knowledge and training as a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist(CPMT).
Child Care - I have over ten years experience caring for children in the U.S. and abroad. Most of my experience is with infants and toddlers, but I have worked with older children as well. Within the past few years I became extremely interested in child development and respectful care taking, so I did a lot of self-study on the subjects and consistently put the principles to into practice.
Additional experience with children - I have seven nieces and nephews ranging in ages two to eighteen. I have spent a lot of time helping to take care of them, and I’ve worked hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with them.
There are millions of infants and children worldwide who are struggling to live to their fullest potential. Would you like an opportunity to bring nurturing touch and pediatric massage to orphaned and displaced children around the globe?
Do you wish to share your skills with children who are affected by Cerebral Palsy, AIDS/HIV, landmines, Agent Orange, developmental disabilities, genetic birth defects, mental and emotional trauma?
Just ask yourself . . . can one person make a difference?
Take this moment to make a difference in the life of a child.
Apply now to be part of our next international volunteer team . . .you too, can be a Liddle Kidz Ambassador!