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.
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.
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 www.storymassage.co.uk 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 🙂