Every cloud has a silver lining. Whilst cancelling my classes and school visits was a pretty massive, grey, thundery, devastating cloud – my silver lining was actually rainbow coloured and was the opportunity to teach story massage to families online. Small businesses all around me were diversifying and rising to the challenges of lockdown life; from my local pub to my friend a fitness instructor, business owners were able to spot possibilities to do something different and meet the new needs of their customers. Inspiring to say the least.
One area of my business that I have been keen on building for a while has been children’s story massage. I visit a few schools every year, teaching children peer massage with stories and every summer I run a couple of family story massage workshops. I’ve always wanted to do more but haven’t had the time. Until lockdown!
The Massage in Schools Association (MISA) quickly devised a new story massage routine with online teaching in mind. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it! I knew my own children were enjoying massage more than usual during the challenging situation of lockdown and I also knew it was helping me too. My three children really enjoyed the new Rainbow Massage routine and were eager guinea pigs as I practised. We even joined in online classes led by my MISA trainer and mentor. The benefits of massage and nurturing touch for children are numerous, especially when in a family setting. Quiet time for connection, to bust stress and anxiety, and improve sleep quality – and for the parents too!
In total, I ran four online story massage courses and two taster sessions; 14 families learned new story massage skills with me during April, May, June and July. We learned the Rainbow Massage and also Weather, Pizza and Caterpillar Massage routines. I was delighted to be able to offer one of these courses fully funded by MISA. The feedback I received from parents (and children) was amazing! Parents were delighted and the children thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.
“[I enjoyed] slowing down a bit and connecting with each other”
“such a connective class that forces focus with no distractions”
“[my son] says the massage helps him feel calm and he really likes the stories, especially the pizza one because it makes him hungry!”
“a really relaxed class that the kids (5&3) have enjoyed”
“a lovely low-key way to spend time together, reminding us to slow down and chill out together”
“It’s a very calm and peaceful half hour which is as beneficial to the parent as to the children”
I am so thrilled that parents and children enjoyed these online sessions and their new skills were valuable. It was a huge privilege for me and I loved every second. I am assuming I won’t be continuing to teach story massage online any more and my school visits will resume shortly – but never say never!