Strokes as Digital Images

There have been a few requests about accessing our Story Massage strokes as digital images. So we have developed our resources and there are now three options for purchase. These are only available for people who have completed our face-to-face or online training course.

Option 1 – the strokes as pdfs. £10. These are ideal for use as a powerpoint presentation of the strokes. These pdfs have the names of the strokes (see example below) and can also be saved in word and used for creating stories using your own templates.

Option 2 – our new development is the strokes in circular form as jpg, giff or pgn. £15. These are the same format as the stickers so can be used with our standard templates (see example below).

Option 3 – You can, of course, have both options for £25!


These images are only available to people who have completed our face-to-face or online training. Please email your request and the date and venue of your training to

Christmas Offer for our Online Story Massage Course

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFER STARTS NOW … buy the online Story Massage course before midnight on 20th December 2017 and you get a second course at half price. A perfect gift for someone special. Or team up with a friend or colleague and you can do the course together in the new year. The purchase must be made in one payment but you will be issued with two passcodes to access the course individually.

Here’s how you make the most of this amazing Christmas offer.

Step 1 – Go to this page – Story Massage Online Training hosted by Teach Children Meditation to find out more about the course.

Step 2 – Decide which option you would like – with the book or without the book. The book is required reading for the course but can be bought from our website: Story Massage Book. 

Step 3 – Make your purchase of two of the same course from Story Massage Online Training using these codes and we will adjust the cost.

With the book: plusbook50 (Total cost for two courses is £201. Only available for UK customers)

Without the book: nobook50 (Total cost for two courses is £172.50)

You must make your purchase before midnight on 20th December 2017 to access the codes. No other discounts can be used with these codes.

Go on… do it now!

If you have any questions on our Christmas offer then please do contact Mary or Sandra for more information on

And if you’d like to check out reviews for the online course then just click here: Feedback for Story Massage Online Training.


Latest Best Practice Award Winners – Congratulations!

We are absolutely delighted to announce our latest Centre of Excellence and Best Practice Award winners. These inspiring people are all using Story Massage in a positive and respectful way to bring benefits for children and adults. We will be featuring their individual stories in blogs over the next months, but here is a glimpse of their achievements. We hope they will be celebrating with a cake too!

Story Massage for Children and Adults

We have now trained over 1000 people who are sharing Story Massage with children and adults worldwide. Our award winners have shown remarkable enthusiasm and creativity in using Story Massage in different settings including:

  • Day services for adults with complex needs
  • Care homes for young adults and elderly
  • Nurture groups in primary schools
  • Special schools for pupils with PMLD
  • Autism units in schools
  • Relax Kids sessions
  • Libraries and Arts Centres
  • Yoga groups
  • Community Service Programme at a secondary school
  • Infant massage classes

…. and even rural communities in Mexico!

Centre of Excellence

Staffordshire Complex Needs Service is now a well-deserved Centre of Excellence in Story Massage. We have been so impressed by the creative work of the team (Louise Molineux, Karen Tyer, Nicola Millward, Diane Cobby and Sheila Williamson) using Story Massage for adults with complex needs in seven day services across the county. “Most of our service users are non verbal so Story Massage offers a way of sharing stories in an inclusive way,” says Louise, “We have noticed huge benefits in terms of eye contact, acceptance of touch, anticipation and engagement. It is really exciting to see such a positive impact. We have also shared Story Massage with their carers who are using it effectively at home too.”

Best Practice Winners

We have 14 new Best Practice Award winners – and each one of them deserves the accolade for their commitment to high standards of sharing Story Massage within their work and home life. Here they are listed in alphabetic order:

Tracey Allport – an occupational therapist and infant massage instructor who uses Story Massage to help enrich the enjoyment and confidence of parents and babies within her baby massage groups as part of her business MOTH Therapies.

Cheryl Bailey – for her inspiring work using Story Massage in her work as a teaching assistant in a class for children with PMLD at Wood Bank Primary Special School in Halifax.

Sarah Checketts – for her innovative use of Story Massage within a Community Service Programme  at Cheltenham College linking secondary school pupils with those from a local special school and also an after-school club at a local primary school.

Charlene Craig – for using Story Massage to help children in nurture groups at Quarry Brae Primary School in Glasgow to share positive touch and positive relationships, and to understand the importance of being kind and respectful to each other.

Sandra Fernandez Conde – an international baby massage trainer who is on a mission to share the benefits of massage within families especially in Mexico, where she is originally from. “It’s a new concept for parents,” says Sandra, who runs free workshops for vulnerable families, “and they love it!” Sandra has translated Story Massage resources into Spanish and she is happy to share them with anyone who has trained with us.

Clare Gibbons – our Best Practice Award winner from New Zealand, and one of the first people to complete our online training course! Clare has won the award for her work with Story Massage with adults in care homes and hospitals. She is a real advocate of Story Massage and says she is always amazed by the calming effect of touch on even the most agitated clients.

Hilary Grieve – for her work with Story Massage as a relaxation activity as part of her Chill with Hil yoga, relaxation and well-being sessions. Hilary works in a variety of locations around Ulverston and Cumbria including a special school where she teaches Hils Chill Skills to help students manage stress and anxiety.

Caroline Hill –  for her creative use of Story Massage as part of her company Making SENse, providing sensory-based activities for young adults with PMLD living in residential care homes in Sussex and Surrey. Caroline says that Story Massage has been particularly beneficial within sensory drama sessions.

Helen Morris – for her enthusiasm and commitment to Story Massage in so many ways! Helen is an activity worker at Linaker Children’s Centre in Southport and uses Story Massage as part of her Relax Kids sessions and whenever she gets the opportunity to share the benefits of positive touch.

Vicky Mulholland – for her flexible approach to Story Massage within her work with With Kids as a speech and language therapist working in schools in the east end of Glasgow. She also uses Story Massage with parents/carers and within family groups.

Heather North – a class teacher at Lexden Springs Special School in Essex who has already featured on our blog for her valuable research and advice into the most effective ways of introducing Story Massage into a class of pupils with PMLD. You can read more here: Story Massage for Children with PMLD.

Kerry Parkinson – who uses Story Massage at home with her own children aged 9 and 11 years as well as part of her work at Linaker Children’s Centre in Southport and as a Relax Kids coach and Baby Mindful coach. She has noticed particular benefits for children on the autistic spectrum.

Alison Sellers – for her commitment to introducing Story Massage in several local libraries in Berkshire. “On the training day, I remember thinking how perfect Story Massage is for libraries,’ says Alison, who is a Relax Kids Coach, “it means that everyone can access the benefits.”

Helen Wyszynski – for using Story Massage as relaxing routine at the end of her Yoga Bears baby yoga classes in Four Oaks, West Midlands. She also uses Story Massage an addition to her one-to-one work with reflexology clients and it has been much enjoyed by one client with M.S.

More about our Best Practice Awards

To find out more about entering for our Best Practice Awards please check out the criteria on our webpage: Best Practice Awards

Seven Fun and Interactive Christmas Ideas

We’re delighted to have teamed up with World Nursery Rhyme Week to bring you seven positive touch activities on a Christmas theme. You will love them! These Story Massage Christmas ideas are best when you sing-along to a familiar tune – but please enjoy them as you wish. And do change the suggested strokes too. We just want you to have some seasonal fun with the children and adults in your life. Continue reading

Story Massage Training Day in North London

Discover the powerful combination of storytelling with simple massage techniques on this FHT Accredited Story Massage Course in North London. Open to everyone with an interest in sharing positive touch activities.  Story Massage is a fun and inclusive activity that is making a real difference to children and adults of all ages and abilities.  Continue reading

Story Massage Training in Brighton

Discover the powerful combination of storytelling with simple massage techniques with our Story Massage training in Brighton. The FHT accredited CPD day course is suitable for everyone interested in positive touch and sensory activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities. Continue reading

Fun Activities for Visually Impaired Pupils

Fun is the key word for Sue Ip who provides positive touch activities for visually impaired pupils at Linden Lodge School in Wimbledon. Sue, a massage therapist, has been awarded our Best Practice Award for her innovative and uplifting approach to Story Massage. Continue reading

World Nursery Rhyme Week 2017

We’re celebrating the popular World Nursery Rhyme Week (13th – 17th November 2017) with Story Massage activities for the five different nursery rhymes – one for every day of the week.

Story Massage and World Nursery Rhyme Week

World Nursery Rhyme Week is a free initiative sponsored by Music Bugs (sensory music classes for children) and supported by music downloads and worksheets from Piccolo Music. The aim is to promote the important role that nursery rhymes play in early childhood by helping children master key skills such as language and communication and social, physical and emotional skills.

Each day throughout the week, there is a chosen nursery rhyme with free themed resources for sharing with children. Find out more here: World Nursery Rhyme Week.

Story Massage is fun and interactive

Story Massage is a programme of ten simple massage strokes combining the benefits of positive touch with the creativity of story telling. Nursery rhymes are perfect for sharing Story Massage when they are appropriate for the age and stage of children. Below we have given some ideas for the Story Massage strokes that could be used for the five different nursery rhymes. But remember, Story Massage is all about fun, interaction and relaxation so do change the strokes to suit you and your child/children.

“I always say to the people that there is no right or wrong way to sing a song or nursery rhyme. We just give ideas and hope that you will join in and adapt the way that is best for you. And that’s what I love about story massage. There is no right or wrong stroke to use to interpret a story or song. Individuals can use their own creativity. And this is explored to the full on a training day.” Abi Cotton, Owner of Piccolo Music and Story Massage Instructor.

“Learning to share Story Massage has shown me the importance of giving children some attention time and to listen to their worries. I am using Story Massage with my granddaughter at present and she is sleeping so much better. But I can also see the potential benefits for play schools, libraries and NCT groups.” Jacqui Torah, Reflexologist and Baby Reflexology Instructor

Monday – Bobby Shafto

Tuesday – Lavender’s Blue

Wednesday – Hickory Dickory Dock

Thursday – Wind the Bobbin Up

Friday – Old King Cole

More about Story Massage

Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of Story Massage. These strokes have a child friendly name, such as The Wave or The Bounce, and an easy to recognise symbol making it accessible for all ages and abilities. These symbols are used for the nursery rhymes above.

You can find out more about the strokes in our Story Massage book called Once upon a touch…story massage for children by Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper. The book is pictured below in the library at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. It contains instructions with illustrations for the strokes and over 25 massage stories and nursery rhymes. You can buy it from the resources page of our website. Story Massage Book.

Training in Story Massage

We also hold popular courses to learn more about introducing Story Massage in your home or work. The course is available as a one day training at different venues around the country or as an online course. We also offer in-housing and group training session. On our courses, you will learn the Story Massage strokes and how to adapt familiar stories and even create some sensory stories of your own. This will help build your confidence with using Story Massage in the way that most suits you – at work or at home.

The training is ideal for teachers, SEN staff, support staff, therapists, Early Years practitioners,  those working with people with additional needs, Baby Massage Instructors, Relax Kids Coaches… everyone with an interest in sharing positive touch activities with children. Find out more here: Story Massage Training

Story Massage for Children with Autism – Ten Key Benefits

We have been so delighted to hear feedback about the many benefits of Story Massage for children with autism. Benefits include relaxation, touch tolerance, emotional regulation, increased concentration, better sleep and social connection. Here is a collection of some of the amazing ways that Story Massage is helping children on the autistic spectrum. Continue reading

Halloween Activities for Children and Adults

Here’s a spine-chilling Halloween Story Massage from Melanie Kelly of Paediatric Therapies in Thurles, Eire. The story was written for children at a school where she works and Melanie wondered if perhaps it was a little too scarey? Well, tried it out with several groups of children and adults and everyone just loved it …. Continue reading