The amazing work of latest Story Massage Best Practice Winners shows the wonderful adaptability of this popular positive touch activity. It can be enjoyed by all ages – from babies to the elderly – and by all abilities. Many congratulations to our fantastic winners who have all worked with such passion and commitment to share the many benefits of Story Massage with others.
Here is a taster of some of the ways that our Best Practice Winners are using Story Massage in the home, school and community.
- Aly Townley – with foster children, as part of mindfulness lessons in mainstream schools and with her own mother with dementia.
- Angela Scott – as part of her work setting up Health and Well-Being Hubs across North East Hastings, as a Relax Kids Coach in mainstream schools (including working with children with Additional Support Needs such as ADHD and Autism), and with her own children at home.
- Caroline Brown – within her work as Complementary Therapy Lead at a children’s hospice and at a school for children with physical, profound or complex learning difficulties and disabilities. Caroline also works with adults with PMLD in a care home.
- Mandy Worsley – as part of the Relax Kids Programme in mainstream schools, with groups of teenagers to help with anger issues and as part of weekly adult relaxation classes.
- Jayne Burke – to bring fun and connection at networking meetings, conferences and team bonding sessions.
- Sally Hudson – within her work as a Massage in Schools Instructor in mainstream schools, as a follow-on to baby massage classes, and as a Young Person’s Support Worker for 3-18 year olds who have Additional Support Needs.
- Simone Jackson – in her work as a massage therapist at a Special School, working with pupils (and staff) as group sessions and on a one-to-one basis.
- Sophie Munnery – with her daughter, Maisie, who is severely disabled, and with her youngest daughter, Poppy, and members of the family. Sophie also runs Sensory Storytime Session at her local library.
- Una Curran – within mindfulness and well-being lessons in mainstream schools, with children with autism and their parents in a regular Little Seeds group, and even with her daughter’s Irish dance group to prepare for competitions.
And here are just a few of the comments from our Best Practice Winners:
“I work with groups of teenagers who present as angry and uncooperative at the first session. As soon as we start doing massage to favourite pop songs, they begin to engage. After six weeks, the change can be amazing and they enjoy giving and receiving positive touch.” Mandy Worsley
“Many children find it hard to discuss angry emotions and Story Massage sessions on a theme offer a way of helping them to express their feelings without becoming anxious or hurting someone else.” Una Curran
“Story Massage can offer comfort and relaxation for my foster children. One lad had been through terrible, sustained trauma. I wrote a bedtime massage story with the theme of safety and security and it was beautiful to see how his whole body and mind relaxed during his stay.” Aly Townley
“My Story Massage, Movement and Song classes encourage parents to continue offering nurturing massage when the baby massage classes come to an end. Repetition of songs and stories combined with positive touch encourages anticipation, development of language skills and connection. ” Sally Hudson
“Many of the children at school have challenging and tactile defensive behaviour. Story Massage helps build trust and improves communication. My advice is to be flexible. Keep it short and sweet. Even a five minute story or song will be beneficial.” Caroline Brown
” Story Massage is a wonderful way of helping to break down barriers at business events, workshops and team bonding days. I write simple massage stories relevant to the event and love hearing the laughter as everyone enjoys the sense of light relief and connection with each other.” Jayne Burke
“I recently worked with a group of year 6 boys who were preparing for SATS and transition to secondary school. At first they were reluctant to try peer massage so I started with self-massage. They were soon writing their own massage stories to share with the others. The class teacher and SENCO were so impressed with the impact of the sessions that a 6 week block was extended to 5 months!” Angela Scott
“Story Massage with my profoundly disabled daughter has opened up a whole new world for us and her. Being able to find something that gives us the ability to reassure Maisy in such a positive way, in good times and bad, is such a wonderful thing.” Sophie Munnery
“I love the way that Story Massage offers a fun and gentle way of sharing positive touch to children with PMLD. So often touch is purely functional for these children and it is lovely to watch them having fun and really enjoying themselves.” Simone Jackson