Should Positive Touch in Schools be Encouraged?
As a massage therapist I believe that regular massage can help relieve stress which is why it’s such a terrific way of keeping our emotional and physical health in tip top condition!
When I met Jean Barlow of Child2Child I found an amazing massage practice which is working brilliantly to settle children and encourage more co-operation. I have used it in my children’s yoga classes and it’s proving to be both positive and empowering. This simple massage routine has given children a way to show respect for others whilst improving their own sense of wellbeing.
This is such a great tool for the classroom and yet almost no one has heard of it !
Jean Barlow, who has been training schools in peer massage for 12 years, has worked with film maker Amanda Bontecou and teacher Thea Blair, to create a short video. In it students, teachers and heads of schools share their views on peer massage. Everyone who contributed said, in their own way, that peer massage brings calm and focus.
Some parents may criticise Child2Child Peer Massage feeling that the programme is inappropriate and indeed many schools in the UK have adopted a ‘no touch’ policy. This is understandable if bullying or physical violence is part of a school culture. Banning touch is a way of dealing with the problem and can prevent abuse by teaching staff
However, touch can be incredibly nurturing and I think that a comforting touch, led by the children, can be of enormous help to pupils who feel anxious or angry. As long as peer massage is done in a professional and safe manner, then everybody wins. The children get a lovely massage which helps them to relax, and the teachers get kids that are more focused on their work, better behaved and by all accounts more productive after the 5/10 minute massage.
For more in depth information on how Peer Massage in school works and the benefits please read my published article in themindsanctuary.com
If you would like to bring CALM into your home why not bring your child to me for some reflexology and relaxation exercises?