stories massage and children

As all parents know getting the time to sit and reflect on something that has happened is very rare. So here I am almost 24 hours after completing a story massage course finding the time to reflect on what I have learnt.

Here I am with Mary Atkinson co founder of story massage
First of all what is story massage I hear you ask?

well an excerpt from the ‘Once upon a touch…story massage for children’ book by Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper  is as follows:

“we all love stories. when combined with the benefits of simple massage strokes , stories present wonderful opportunities for creativity and interaction”

During the course we learnt 10 simple massage strokes which can be incorporated into stories and nursery rhymes. The moves are simple and easy to learn and very effective (we practised on each other so I can say first hand the moves are relaxing).

Story massage for me is primarily about making massage more fun especially for my daughter so that she stays engaged and interested. Its also about making massage accessible to children. My children in particular love to join in, they love to sing and tell stories and have massages. This makes story massage a perfect way for them to do both.

During the course I along with a fellow student made up a story for my daughter. Due to her ADHD medication her appetite can be suppressed. This as other parents with similar diagnoses can relate can cause a lot of stress and upset at meal times. I constantly worry that she isn’t eating enough and isn’t gaining weight. This causes me to become upset and anxious and if I am totally honest I can become angry as well. I am not angry with my daughter but just angry with our circumstances and my daughters illness which is mostly out of my control. Any parent worries about their children not eating. For me it is frustration as without the medication my daughter would probably eat as well as her sisters do. Its a double edged sword without the medication she can become hyper and can not control her feelings. For her everything is heightened. Feelings can become to much for her to come with and she can lash out. Most people who know her would never even realise that this is what she is like as they see her while her medication is working.

So back on topic, we made up a story called magical food. Its about a princess who with her mummy meets a magical unicorn who tells princess Louisa that eating gives her lots of energy and makes her big and strong so she can play. It also touches on how mummy feels worried that she wont eat.

IMG_7371 As you can see it is a relatively short story with the massage moves down the left hand side. All the moves have symbols to make it easy to write your own stories and stickers too.  When I got home last night my daughters were all interested in hearing about what I had learnt. Louisa was especially excited that we had written a story massage for her. We sat down before tea and I told the story with the massage moves.

My daughter loved it and wanted more. Her sisters also all demanded that I do the same story on them. Which I did with pleasure. I was so happy to have learnt a new skill and it is one that all the children can join in and enjoy. The format for the story can be adapted for different needs foods and names can be changed. This means that it can be personalised. It can be used for any nursery rhymes or stories at bedtime etc. for this reason it makes it a fab tool for any parent. I would highly recommend any parent with children take a look at and read about the resources and training options for yourselves.

that’s all from me for now I am of to do a bedtime story massage with Louisa 🙂


Massage and children 

As I sit here writing my nearly three year old nephew has just calmed down. His mummy has gone to work for an hour and he is finding the separation after having her constant attention for six weeks very distressing. I have managed to calm him down singing nursery rhymes and using some soothing massage techniques Learnt from Indian head massage (effleurage) on his back. Now he is contented playing with the Lego. 

My own children are now back at school and so I can find time to reflect on what has made this years six week school holiday less stressful than in previous years and I have come to the realisation it’s been massage. Children need massage as much as we do. Unlike previous generations our children these days are expected to achieve more and work harder. This generation grow up a lot quicker. They are the technology age. Time spent in front of a computer instead of out riding bikes and climbing trees means their postures suffer. Like us children can hold a lot of tension in their upper shoulders and necks. They can also suffer from tension headaches and migraines. My twelve year old is very much into her mobile phone and sitting hunched over looking at the small screen means she has been complaining of a sore neck and headaches. So technology time was shortened and outdoor pursuits were lengthened and with a weekly Indian head massage she relaxed and her headaches lessened considerably.

For my daughter with ADHD the summer holidays has brought ups and downs. Due to the interruption of her normal routines she has when at school she found the holidays hard. I found that the OCD and ASD became more apparent the longer the holidays went on. Indian head massage helped somewhat by calming her and allowing her mind to settle. This was especially true when camping which is for another day. I am really looking forward to the story massage course later this month so that I can also use this. Every child likes stories that involve actions and interactive elements. It’s what keeps them interested and involved.this is especially true for my daughter. She is very good at hands on activities like art and finger crochet and she spends a lot of time in role play with her teddy bears. So the story massage will offer her another faucet in which to express herself. 

Being a mother I can see the benefits of massage for children. As a practionner I can see that what I do can help and clients reaping the benefits is always satisfying.

Getting the word out and getting parents involved and seeing the benefits is something I am working towards. To find out more about me and what I am working towards pleas visit 

You can also find out more about story massage at

Until next time