Massage in Schools

The Massage in Schools Programme is an easy, accessible and effective tool for improving children's quality of life in school. The intention is simple; To give children the opportunity to experience nurturing touch at school in a safe way. The MISP will enable them to interact differently.

Teaching respect through positive touch
Respect is crucial when working with the MISP. The principle of respect is encouraged and required at many levels within the programme. This reinforces safeguarding principles and promotes empowerment for children, who have the right to be asked to be touched and equally decline if they are uncomfortable. It enables children to feel in control of their body and experience what safe touch feels like.

Benefits of the MISP
Numerous studies and research have been conducted into the benefits of massage. In the school environment, there are specific benefits that have been observed and acknowledged by many teachers and educators who have experienced using massage in their classrooms. Additionally, parents are often impressed with the positive influence massage has on their children and on the entire family.

Official studies carried out on massage itself, state, among other things, that massage helps to strengthen the immune system, lower stress levels and increase the production of relaxing hormones. We are aware that the children massaging each other are not therapists, nor are the conducting deep tissue massage; however, because it is still massage that the MISP programme proposes, albeit a simple one, the body systems are therefore affected positively.

Benefits for child

• The opportunity to learn and experience saying "yes" or "no" to touch

• A feeling of being individually perceived and acknowledged

• Relaxation, reduction in stress levels

• Improved concentration

• Developing greater respect for peers

Benefits for the teacher
It is suggested that the person observing massage also manifests and experiences calming effects of oxytocin, a hormone closely related to the experience of nurturing touch.

• More harmony within the classroom

• Calmer, happier children

• Stronger peer relationships, built upon respect

• Easier and smoother classroom management

• Lower noise levels within the classroom

• Calmer class environment

• Promotes staff well-being and stronger relationships with students

Benefits for school

• A sense of unity in the school, a shared experience and benchmark of respect

• Practical and proactive approach to address bullying

• Calmer, happier and more positive children

• Children of different ages and classes helping one another

• Structured routine which actively promotes well-being

• A sense of school identity

Benefit for parents
When the child brings the MISP home, the parents begin to understand the value, both for their children and themselves. Parents have experienced:

• A positive action which helps to calm their child

• Stronger relationships, created through positive touch, promoting bonding and attachment

• Calmer child when arriving home from school

• An activity which child and parent share together

• Improved sleep

• Improved communication

The MISP routine
The basic routine consists of a series of simple movements that can evoke images, thereby engaging the child's natural faculty of imagination. All children are taught the same basic routine, and they do these movements over clothes on each others back, arms and face.

Creating time for the routine
Initially, each class will have a 30 minutes session, once a week, over 6 weeks, led by a qualified instructor.

The expectation is for the class teacher to practice this routine daily with the children, which usually takes 20 minutes, whilst the children are becoming familiar with the techniques.

Once the class is confident with the routine and it has been mastered by the children, the entire routine takes no longer than 15 minutes per pair.

For further information on support in implementing this as part of an intervention strategy or whole school well-being, please contact us via email for a discussion.