Are you looking for ways to address the social and emotional needs of children in your school?
I believe that massage can be learnt at an early age and that it helps in the development of healthy relationships. What better way to illustrate this than through my work with children, parents and teachers. I work with other professionals and educators to foster self awareness and consideration for others through the interplay between connection, massage and well-being.
Developing Self Awareness
Having worked with children of all ages and abilities I have seen the magical effect that massage has in improving communication and connection. I have witnessed time and again how peer massage has helped children grow in confidence as they learn to express their feelings and wishes. According to feedback the impact continues beyond the classroom to the playground and to their home environments.
Did you know that we can introduce massage to your school for as little as £2 per child?
Through our work with ‘Massage in Schools’, which we deliver through Connected4life, we have seen how it enables children to connect to each other, learn about themselves in the process and to develop healthy boundaries that increase their sense of safety and autonomy in the world.
Connected4life is a powerful collaboration of two qualified Massage in Schools Instructors, one of whom is myself. We have worked together since 2001 with a myriad of projects relating to our shared passions and draw from a wealth of additional training and experience. Our vision is for every child to know and experience nurturing touch as a healthy part of growing. Let us share more about this influential and inspiring work with you.
Massage is introduced with storytelling, songs, and nursery rhymes. We often begin by teaching a simple ‘weather massage’ and then help children and teachers develop their own ideas for story massage. This is suitable for groups of families and carers, nursery groups, nurture groups, special needs and mainstream schools and respite centres
- We introduce bite-sized versions of the full MISP sequence to children 4-12 years of age
- We offer training in classrooms of the full MISP sequence
- We offer advice and support in curriculum learning development using massage and movement
We can also offer one-to-one massage therapy for children with special needs, within home environments, schools, day centre or respite centre settings.
“The children really enjoyed their massage and it supported them in many ways. They were able to interact with other children they may not have chosen to work with before and they learnt to respect each other more. Asking permission before the session was a very powerful way of raising awareness of the importance of the personal space of others in their class. It had a quiet, calming influence on the class. There was also a positive response from parents who had been shown the techniques by their children at home.”
– Chris Brown, Deputy Head Teacher
We provide courses and workshops for teachers, parents and carers. We can also adapt our training materials to work with specific needs or interests. Two of our most popular training workshops for teachers are:
Please note that these workshops are easily adapted for parent/carer groups.
“Thanks for best Friday afternoon I have spent in months!”
Developing the Movement
The Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) is an international movement which works with the schools, teachers and children to offer a high quality, inclusive, peer-to-peer massage programme for 4-12 year olds that can be used creatively within all curriculum areas. It directly links to areas of current government initiatives relating to children, such as Every Child Matters.
Click here for a promotional video about the programme.
“The massage in schools programme is a fun, whole school, preventative strategy for promoting respect and reducing bullying. It is a strategy that I feel should be considered by all primary schools, fitting as it does into the below initiatives.”
– John Stead, NSPCC Education Advisor & DfES anti-bullying co-ordinator for West Yorkshire
Peer to Peer Massage is:
- Performed fully clothed
- For children of 4-12 years
- Given and received with the child’s permission
- Given on the head, back, arms and hands
- Given by the children to each other
- Quick – it takes only 10-15 minutes daily
How it can help:
MISP offers many benefits; and through our studies and observations we have seen that it can offer the following to children and schools alike:
- Supports emotional intelligence, health and well being
- Empowers children to make choices and express their feelings
- Helps children become calmer and their concentration improves
- Enables children to feel good about themselves, raising self esteem and confidence
- Creates an environment of care, respect and social inclusion
- Improves co-operation as they work together in pairs and groups and learn from each other in the process
- Helps children give and receive nurturing touch and brings the associated benefits of massage
- Teaches the difference between positive, healthy touch and inappropriate touch
- Improves children’s motor skills
- Encourages visualisation and kinaesthetic learning
- An inclusive programme that embraces all abilities, faiths and races
- Encourages and sustains creative and fun approaches to learning
- Supports the learning of subjects from across the curriculum
- Provides an effective tool against bullying and aggression
- Newspaper article: ‘Young pupils learn the art of massage’ By Michelle Archard