Why I’m now using Story Massage in my work with parents and children.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Yesterday I was delighted to attend a course on Story Massage as I thought it would be another useful addition to add to my toolbox of ways to help parents and children.
What is Story Massage?
Story Massage involves the use of 10 simple movements (through your clothes), associated with words that help to build up a story. Tracing a large circle on a child’s back, for example, can depict the image of the world while a gentle squeezing action on the shoulders can represent reassurance, safety, or security.
Story massage can be shared in schools, nurseries and homes as well as with therapists and counsellors. It is currently being used and developed worldwide in a variety of settings including home, school, after-school clubs, family centres, hospices and special schools.
I love expanding my skill set and the things I can offer to the parents and children that I work with and I can see using Story Massage to help children relax, and to act as a very simple way to help parents bond with their children after a busy day, or to act as an antidote to all the screens kids are exposed to.
It can help with sleep problems, toddler tantrums, teenage fears, anxiety around food, stress around exams, anxiety about moving to secondary school, or your child’s friendship problems at school, even bullying.
Whatever the problem Story Massage will have a place in my wide variety of techniques from NLP, to Emotional Freedom Technique to help you navigate the challenges of raising happy, confident, resilient children.
I can see it being a very helpful tool to release stress, anxiety, trauma and fear and I am particularly going to be using it with children and parents going through divorce.
I created and wrote my very own Story Massage called ‘Mum & Dad Are Divorcing’
Story Massage Strokes
Story Massage strokes concentrate on shoulders, back, arms and head, all areas which are easily accessible and non-intrusive. No oil is used for story massage, and children do not need to remove any clothes. Movements are safe and can be adapted to suit varying personalities and temperaments. Positive touch through storytelling can be especially beneficial for children with special/additional needs.
Benefits of Story Massage for Children
We all love stories. When combined with the benefits of simple massage strokes, stories present wonderful opportunities for creative fun and interaction. Sharing positive touch offers great scope for imaginative activity and learning for children of all ages and abilities.
Positive touch activities have been used effectively as part of the internationally recognised Massage in Schools Programme which introduces peer massage, child on child, into the classroom and wider community. MISP was one of the inspirations for developing our story massage project.
The benefits of positive touch for children are backed by extensive research from The Massage in Schools Association and Touch Research Institute Miami with findings including:
Improved calmness and concentration
Increased self-confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem
Improved social skills
There is also an educational element as story massage can be used to fit in with the national curriculum. Many children have learnt their numbers and letters, and elements of history, geography and nature through story massage.
To find out more explore
Story Massage www.storymassage.co.uk