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