I have spoken often in my blogs about Story massage and Indian head massage. Why? Because as a parent I firmly believe that these two therapies bring a host of advantages to our family life. Living with a child with Hearing loss, ADD and Anxiety can bring a lot of stress and frustration into our family and especially into my daughters daily life.
Have you ever been for a massage? For many of us through time and money restraints massage may not be possible, it was only ever a luxury I had had a few times since having children. You don't need to go out and spend money though even just sitting with your children giving them a cuddle, playing with their hair can be just as relaxing. We bond through touch, we communicate and we reassurance with touch and we can soothe and relax through touch. I initially trained in Indian head massage as a way to help my own children. From there it has grown into a passion due to the benefits I have seen within my own family and its these benefits I hope to pass onto other children and parent's.
Last year while doing more research into massage I found a wonderful and interesting massage therapy called Story massage. This massage skill is an amazing activity to add to your family life. Story massage is simply 10 massage moves which you use against the backdrop of any nursery rhyme, story, poem, song. The list is endless and I have hours of fun making up my own stories for my children to enjoy. The best thing about story massage is that it is a skill the whole family can learn and enjoy together and it can last 5 minutes or 20 minutes.
As a mother I have found massage to
The beauty of story massage is that you can tailor the story or song to your own child's particular needs. We have stories about holidays, how important it is to eat, stories with my children's names in them and stories about their individual disabilities. The best thing is there is no right and wrong and you can do it anywhere and anytime
The list really is endless. Children as young as two can enjoy the stories and I have had a group of teenagers making up stories and then giving each other a massage :) and one of my eldest wrote me a story massage for mothers day
My Super Mum by Charlotte, aged 11
My mum is like Super Mum, (The Circle)
always there when I need her. (The Circle)
She appears like a ninja all ready to help, (The Upwards Fan)
and swoops into save me when I’m feeling lost. (The Downwards Fan)
My mum is a Super Mum, a Super Mum she is (The Circle)
She sorts out my problems and listens to me (The Calm)
She shows me she cares, she makes me so happy (The Squeeze)
I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (The Squeeze)
But sometimes I am naughty (The Drum)
Super Mum can shout - very loud (The Drum)
She tells me to be good, to be kind. (The Calm)
I want to grow up to be just like my Super Mum (The Circle)
My Super Mum brings magic and excitement (the Bounce)
I know how much she cares, she shows me everyday (The Circle)
So I wrote this for you, Mum (The Circle)
To show you how much I care. (The Calm)
As a therapist I do offer sessions in Story massage where you can learn the moves and share story massage with your children. Recently I won the Best Practise Award from Story massage and I feel immensely fortunate in being able to share these skills with other parents.
What ever you do tonight give your child a hug and share with them the power of positive touch
x leanne x
To find out more or to book a session contact me here
As readers of this blog know, I love Story Massage and use it at home and share it with others etc. So I am delighted to interview Mary Atkinson, co-founder of Story Massage and author of Healing Touch for Children, on this blog:
When was Story Massage founded?
I’ve worked alongside Sandra Hooper, co-founder of our Story Massage project since 2007 developing ideas for positive touch activities for children. Then in April 2012, I was invited to travel to Japan to introduce a creative Story Massage project for children suffering in the aftermath of the tsunami. Sandra and I wrote a massage story called The Smiling Flower especially for the children in schools and nurseries. The local social welfare team felt that it had been an emotionally healing experience for everyone on so many levels. It was a joy to see the smiles on the faces of the children.
When I returned to the UK, we decided that we needed to share this amazing form of positive touch with everyone – so we published a book Once upon a touch… story massage for children and set up a training programme, blog, facebook and YouTube channel. It has just grown from there – with amazing feedback from so many different people.
What is Story Massage?
Story Massage involves the use of 10 simple massage movements (through clothes), which are associated with spoken words to build up an engaging story. Tracing a large circle on a child’s back, for example, can depict the sun, while raking with the fingers can represent lions’ claws.
The concept of story massage is certainly not new. Indeed, it is as natural and intuitive as both sharing touch and telling stories. Most of us can remember writing our names, adding numbers or drawing pictures on friends’ backs as a creative guessing game. These action games, songs and rhymes are a form of story massage. They have long been enjoyed as a fun and nurturing activity, but we are extending this so they become a way of communicating, engaging interest and encouraging skills such as fine motor co-ordination and emotional literacy.
Our Story Massage strokes can be shared wherever is accessible and acceptable for a child – back, hands, feet, arms, legs…. No oil is used and children do not need to remove any clothes. Storylines and massage moves can be adapted to suit the individual needs of children of varying ages, personalities and temperaments – so it is fully inclusive. It can be shared as a peer massage activity or adult and child, depending on the circumstances.
What are the benefits of Story Massage?
Benefits of story massage can be linked to choice of theme for a massage story. These might include, for example:
How can I use Story Massage at home?
If you live in the Norfolk area, then I’d recommend that you talk to Leanne as she now runs Story Massage sessions for families and groups. She uses Story Massage with her own children and we have been so impressed by the creativity and enthusiasm of her whole family. Leanne has a wonderful talent for Story Massage that she will share with you
How can we find out more about Story Massage?
To find out more about Story Massage training and resources, please visit: www.storymassage.co.uk To celebrate this blog we are happy to send you a free copy of The Smiling Flowers Story Massage, written about the healing power of nature. Simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at Marsham Holistic Therapy we one to one sessions in story massage here in Norfolk. Contact for more information or to make a booking.
For more blogs see www.leannesihm.wordpress.com