Staying in Touch – Literally!

The power of positive, nurturing touch is so important in these strange and uncertain times. And whilst ‘social distancing’ measures are in place, we are finding ways of staying in touch (literally!) with the Story Massage Programme.

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Helping Children Cope with Bereavement

The Story Massage Programme became a beneficial part of a bedtime routine for a 7 year old who finds it hard to sleep after the death of a much-loved grandmother. “Massage stories really helped her cope with bereavement,” says her mother, Kath Routledge, a Story Massage Instructor, Relax Kids Coach and now an author, “And two years later, we are still sharing the massage story.” Continue reading

Sharing Story Massage Overseas

The Story Massage Programme is now global… Our Story Massage online course has opened up whole new opportunities for people living abroad. We also get many requests from overseas for our book. In this blog, we will look at how our UK based Instructors are travelling overseas to share the benefits of the programme with children, young people and their families in all corners of the world. Continue reading

Bedtime Story Massage for Thomas

The Story Massage Programme is now an integral part of a bedtime routine for Thomas, a lively 8 year old boy with complex needs and PMLD. “We use it every evening to prepare Thomas for his bath and then bed,” says his mother, Lucy, “He always laughs and smiles. He loves it!”

Story Massage for Siblings

Lucy was introduced to the Story Massage Programme after buying the book Once Upon a Touch… Story Massage for Children for Thomas and his sister, Emily, two years ago. It was a big hit with Emily, then aged 9, and she began writing her own massage stories. Here’s one she wrote especially for her brother to help him sleep.

Connecting with Story Massage

“Story Massage is such a lovely way for us all to connect with Thomas,” says Lucy, “He likes all the different strokes -The Circle is his favourite. As he has such complex needs, we find it best to do the strokes on his chest while he is lying on his back – either on his bed or the physio table.”

Bedtime Story for Thomas

Following the success of Emily’s massage story, Lucy decided to write her own bedtime story for Thomas. This is now pinned up beside his bed and used every evening – sometimes by Lucy or her husband, sometimes by her mother or a carer. “We all follow the same routine and Thomas, like many children with PMLD,  really responds well to it,” says Lucy.

Here are the words of Lucy’s Bedtime Story.

And here is a video of Thomas enjoying his bedtime story.

Thomas Shows Anticipation

As the video shows, Thomas clearly loves the fun of the Story Massage Programme. Lucy has also noticed that it helps with anticipation as Thomas starts to vocalise sounds to show that he is expecting certain moves or a line in the story. “For example, when we do Animal Friends from the book,” says Lucy, “He starts laughing just before we do The Circle at the end. He seems to love the last line of the story which is ‘All Sammy’s friends are different and that’s what makes them special’.

Riding on a Star

It was a great pleasure to meet Lucy at the Raising The Bar 111 National PMLD Conference in October 2019 where she gave a presentation about the joys and challenges of raising a son with PMLD. You can follow her story on her facebook page and blog: Riding on a Star. Lucy is pictured below with Mary Atkinson (right), co-founder of the Story Massage Programme and Joanna Grace (left) the inspiration behind The Sensory Projects. You can also find out more about Joanna’s important work with Sensory Stories on our blog: Sensory Stories and the Inclusive Benefits of Narrative.


Story Massage for Children with ADHD

We’ve been having some really positive feedback from parents and health professionals who have discovered the benefits of Story Massage for children with ADHD. “The Story Massage Programme empowers parents giving them a tool they can use to interact with their children in a calm non-threatening way,” says Andrea Bilbow, OBE, Chief Executive, ADDISS, The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service, UK, “It is also a way for parents to spend one to one time with their child thus reinforcing the bond between parent and child.” Continue reading

Meditation and the Story Massage Programme

Welcome to Shaula Maitland, today’s guest blogger. Shaula, an experienced Early Years and KS1 teacher from Wiltshire, uses meditation alongside the Story Massage Programme in the classroom and shares her tips in this blog. She has also written her first children’s book Positive Panda, a collection of meditations to nurture a positive mind.

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FREE Resources for Story Massage during Lockdown

We have had amazingly positive feedback for our free resources to support the Story Massage Programme at home and at work during lockdown. Here are three opportunities to share the fun, connection and relaxation of massage stories – all for free.

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Luella wins Junior Best Practice Award

We occasionally present special young people with our Junior Best Practice Award – and today we are delighted to give the award to 11 year old Luella Perkins. She is only the third winner of this prestigious award. A real fan of the Story Massage Programme, Luella shares massage stories with her friends, family and even her pet rabbit!

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The Story Massage Programme in Action

The best way to explain the benefits of the Story Massage Programme is to see it in action. So here are six video clips showing children and young adults engaging with the fun and interaction of a Story Massage session. You can see the wide variety of settings where the programme brings benefits to people of all ages and abilities.

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