MASSAGE IN SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
Implementing Massage in Schools.
MISP is for primary schoolchildren aged 4 – 12 years.
The programme is introduced to the children by a trained instructor, usually over a period of 4 – 7 days, for 15 minutes a day. First thing in the morning is ideal, as it helps relax and focus the pupils.
This is simply a guideline and can be altered to suit needs. It is a child to child massage done through the clothes; at no time do the teachers or instructors touch the children.
The massage routine is introduced gradually to the children, all the strokes having names which the children recognise, such as, ‘ice skating’, ‘baker’ and ‘climbing the rope’. The children always ask permission from each other before they begin and say thank you to each other when they finish the routine.
Once the children know the routine, a 10 minute slot for the massage can be incorporated into the school day. Touch games and massage stories can be used in any part of the curriculum to help bring subjects alive for both teachers and children. The Massage in School Programme can also be introduced to parents and carers.
Benefits of the Programme
The Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) was first introduced into UK schools in 2001. It is a programme of positive touch and clothed peer massage for children aged 4 – 12 years and their parents. It is used in schools, child centred organisations and the home to improve children’s wellbeing.
‘I have loved watching the reactions in the children I have worked with, how adults’ attitudes are changed when they see the power positive touch has on the children they work with.’
Behaviour support teacher
An overview of UK research studies carries out in 2015 shows that the main benefits of the MISP are:
Improved calmness and concentration
Increased self confidence and self esteem
Improved social skills with a greater number of relationships/friendships with peers and adults
Happier and more relaxed children
A reduction in aggressive behaviour and bullying
A more positive attitude and greater engagement with learning
Improved ability to work in groups and independently
Greater creativity and problem solving
Increased awareness of the body and signs of stress and anxiety