Questions and Answers

We are all facing new challenges and new ventures. So, new questions are arising. Here are answers to many of the recent queries from our Story Massage Community of trained practitioners.

This can also be downloaded as a PDF Document. Questions and Answers

Can I run my own live Story Massage sessions on social media/website?

If the group is private (only accessed by members and posts cannot be shared), then we encourage you to run sessions as you would for a face-to-face session. However, if the group is public then please do not share the names, symbols and actions of the strokes. This would make it a training session that could be readily accessed by anyone and could easily undermine the integrity and ethos of the programme.

For public groups, we suggest running follow-along videos, in the same way as Mary and Emmanuel on our YouTube channel, so families have the fun of joining in but do not receive any training. You can direct them to your own private sessions or to the Story Massage book and training, as appropriate.

Can I give an Introduction to the Story Massage Programme on social media/website?

This is similar to the answer to the above question. We understand that you may wish to give an introduction to the Story Massage Programme on public social media, but we suggest that you only explain two or three strokes in detail. A good example is ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ that has three strokes and gives a feel of how the strokes are used to illustrate the words. Please don’t give all the strokes away as you are putting the integrity of the programme at risk.

Can I upload my own Story Massage videos to social media/website?

The same principles apply as above – depending on whether the group is private or public. You are very welcome to share any videos from our YouTube channel on private or public social media. Many can also be downloaded.

Can I run private Zoo/Teams online sessions for families and schools?

Many people are now running private online sessions for families if face-to-race sessions are not appropriate. On these private sessions, you are welcome to give instructions for the strokes as you would in a face-to-face session. However, it is your responsibility to check that you are covered by any necessary insurance (if you are an independent practitioner). If you are running private online sessions for children in classes then do go ahead as you would a face-to-face session but we ask that this is not recorded and that all school staff understand it is not a training session for them.

Can I use published books such as ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ or ‘The Gruffalo’ for sessions on public social media?

It is your responsibility to comply with the laws of copyright for published authors and whether or not you are able to share their work. We encourage you to use massage stories, poems and songs from our book ‘Once upon a touch’, plus those that have been written by fellow practitioners or those that are in the public domain such as traditional tales and nursery rhymes. You may well risk having content removed from public social media if you don’t comply with copyright law.

Which logo can I use for promotion?

The Story Massage Programme logo (blue with two white hands) is solely for the use of founders Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper. Winners of our Centre of Excellence Award and Story Massage Instructors are sent a special logo for their sole use. An alternative complimentary logo pictured below (for use by trained practitioners) can be obtained for use on leaflets, social media and any promotion. Please email

How much should I charge for sessions?

We cannot give advice on this as situations and settings are so varied. There is no set amount per hour. It is your decision. However, if you are trained practitioner then you can type ‘charge’ or ‘fee’ into the search button on our Facebook Community Page to find answers from fellow trained practitioners.

Do I need to obtain parental/carer permission for sessions?

We ask you to follow any touch policies and guidelines within the setting where you are working/volunteering. If you are working as an independent practitioner then we ask you follow the code of conduct laid down by your professional organisation. Seeking consent to touch at the start of each session, and saying ‘thank you’ at the end, is an integral part of the programme.