Saturday, 27 March 2010

Child2Child Peer Massage

Child2Child Peer Massage

Having spent the last three years delivering the Peer Massage in Schools Programme,(MISP), I have recently been introduced to and become a trainer for the new and dynamic Child2Child Peer Massage.

Child2Child Peer Massage has been developed by Jean Barlow, Teacher Consultant for Rochdale’s Behaviour Management and Development Team. She has developed a sustainable model of peer massage that fits with the school routines and transitions, and is embedded in the school ethos.

It is a very short and simple initiative that can be used by children in school, in clubs or at home to support their self management.

It is an easy combination of classic massage strokes that are put together to make a short routine, which if done daily, has many benefits, such as the capacity to reduce anxiety and stress. This daily practice builds up emotional awareness and social cohesion.

Children are asked to choose whether they wish to take part in the session on a daily basis and their choice is acknowledged and respected.The peer massage is a process of teaching children those skills and competences needed in life.

Child2Child Peer Massage has been specially designed to bring nurturing touch and experiential learning into the classroom. It uses the body’s own resources to help to promote the improvements in concentration, attention and communication. It seeks to teach cognitively, self-respect and control. We know that touch is the first of the sense to develop in the womb and the last to leave us when we die.

This work is used with all children from the ages of 4-11years in the primary schools and 12-16years in the high schools. It is an inclusive programme

It provides teachers with a tool to empower, inform and develop assertiveness in children. It introduces empowering assertive language. This enables children to practice asking for and giving permission to touch. Thus it explains the individual’s right to choose for him / her self.

It embraces the language of choice, self-knowledge and control.

The work allows the classroom to become a calm, safe, nurturing place. Children enter into a dialogue that is interactive, responsive and respectful. There are considered exchanges of information from peer giver to peer receiver. It is structured disciplined, short and practical. Children learn by being involved or watching their friend. The peer massage stimulates the imagination, concentration and tolerance levels as they become sensitive to one another. They learn by practice. They internalize the information because they use all their senses during the session.

The teacher is the practitioner who can work alongside the school Peer Massage Co-coordinator using the ‘Coaching’; model and having had one day’s training in the use of the strokes, work with the class to facilitate the work.

The Practitioner oversees the stroke review and encourages the children to follow the guidance of the partner.

No adult is involved in giving the massage except in cases where children have a statement for a Special Educational Need, who would be unable to access the programme without his / her support worker. Every child has the option to choose whether or not to take part in all or part of the session. Some children may wish to have certain strokes omitted. In such a case the giver would have still hands for the duration of that stroke.

Child2Child massage can be used as part of the PSHCE syllabus, SEALS work or Healthy Schools curriculum. It has a part to play in the development of an emotional literacy curriculum and gas potential to reduce stress, anxiety and mental health tendencies. It provides positive social acceptance and so reduce the potential for bullying

The provision of a daily routine may encourage children to challenge aggressive attitudes and provide alternative strategies for enabling children to stop unwelcome touch

Practicing positive, respectful touch, where children seek and are given permission to touch, is the first step in teaching assertiveness around self-protection.

There are four new routines KS1& 2 Animal Hand and Back Routines and KS3&4 Solar System Hand and Back Routines

We are holding our first

Celebration Conference on Tuesday 29th June 2010


at Buile Hill Park Hall

Eccles Old road


M6 8GL

Book online or RSVP email: Tel:01204300516

For more informationon training or the conference contact me at Mob: 07801710963

Friday, 26 March 2010

Peer Massage in Schools Programme

When I first started doing my massage training, back in 1997 I was employed as a Senior District Nursing Sister on the 'Evening Night Nursing Service' in Northumberland. Most of the work we did was palliative care and I hoped to use the massage on the patients for symptom control however due to regulations in nursing this never happened and I left District Nursing in 2000 to develop my business- Absolute Energy- which promotes health and Well being in the workplace.

Over the years I have I trained in Body Massage, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage, On site Massage, Hot Stones, Ear Candling and more recently become an Advanced Practitioner from the 'No Hands Massage Association'.

However the training that has made the biggest impact and most significant effect on me personally and on my business has been the Peer Massage in Schools Programme and more recently becoming a trainer for the Child2Child Peer Massage Programme.

Let me take you back to 2005............. My business Absolute Energy has a team of practitioners who provide a number of specially adapted holistic treatments to suit the workplace, office or corporate event. We were working in a first school in Jarrow, where all the staff were having massage as a reward from the Head for an excellent ‘Off stead’ report.

We were working in the library and the pupils kept watching us, as they were moving around school. At lunchtime a number them came up to us in the dining room and asked if they could have a massage as well. At the end of the day the Head said, ”Well that’s the staff sorted out now how about the children”. I told him I had recently seen something on TV where the children were massaging each other so would find out more and get back in touch.

I trawled the Internet and eventually found the ‘Massage in Schools Association’; I phoned them straight away and chatted to Jean Barlow the Education Co-coordinator for about two hours. I immediately loved what I heard. The Programme was new, innovative and pioneering. I cancelled everything in my diary and Jean made an extra space on the course for me and three weeks later, there I was in Lancaster. New course, new vocabulary (education) new buzz words. Everyone else on the course were teachers or learning mentors and at first thought as a therapist how was I going to make this work.

The course was excellent and I couldn’t wait to get back and get started, I designed my information packs and started calling the local schools, and my feet haven’t touched the ground since. I have been into over 90 first, middle and high Schools in Northumberland, Newcastle and Gateshead. The results we have had have been even better than I expected.

The vision of the Massage in Schools Programme is that every child attending school experiences positive and nurturing touch every day... everywhere in the world. Designed for 4-12 year olds this is indeed a pioneering programme and the schools have found it a new, exciting and innovative addition to the curriculum. It is based around shared respect and helps build self-esteem, improve communication, reduce aggressive behavior and improves social cohesion. It empowers children to be able to rehearse positive language- the language of Choice and helps promote emotional resilience. It is given and received with the child's permission on the back, head, arms and hands and takes about 7 minutes daily.

Massage is always fully clothed and restricted to arms, shoulders, upper back and neck. Teachers do not massage children, the massage sequences are made into games and stories e.g. drawing the weather map, making a party pizza or building a garden, on the back.

I offer a full and comprehensive programme and visit each class on several occasions. The Children learn the daily routine, weather massage and we do creative massage, where each class makes up their own special routines. We then invite families in for a Celebration Assembly-which is always a lovely moving experience.

I have also received funding through ‘Northumberland Family Learning’ and have worked with families across the region, so they are able to take the massage home and use it as a bedtime routine or merely as a way of bonding and spending quality time together.

Because you are working with children there is obviously a lot of red tape. You have to be CRB checked with each authority. You must get parental permission for each child. The schools do this for you and over the years I must admit there have been very few parents who have not allowed the children to take part. There has be risk assessments and health and safety checks- but the schools are so helpful and have everything in place for you going in.

The last four years have been hard work but so much fun, working with the peer Massage has introduced me to a whole new way of working- although I have taught adults and worked with young adults in the past I had never worked with children this age.

The work can be challenging but so rewarding when you see the results, to be told by a head in a tough school ‘thank you for changing their lives’, has a huge impact on your feelings and I have had more job satisfaction than in all the years I nursed.

If you want to do something different that will help our children become better adults then go become an instructor- I’ve recommended it to lots of other therapist who are now all working as successful independent instructors and more importantly loving their work!

For more information on the programme and on Absolute Energy please visit