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STORY MASSAGE

Suitable for ages 3yrs - 11yrs

Story Massage is calming and relaxing, a way of exploring touch, safely and with respect, but most of all, it is great fun!  Story Massage combines the benefits of positive touch with the creativity of words – whether as story, rhyme or song.  

Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of the programme. These strokes have a name, such as The Circle or The Sprinkle, and an easy to recognise symbol making it fully accessible for all ages and abilities.


Story Massage can be shared as a child to child or parent to child activity or with adults.  It is popular in a variety of settings including schools, special schools, care homes, after-school clubs, family centres, hospices and of course, the family home

There is also an educational element as Story Massage can be used to fit in with the national curriculum. Many children have learnt their numbers and letters, and elements of history, geography and nature through massage stories.

Story Massage offers a way of learning and communicating through play and positive interaction. You can adapt your own massage stories from favourite stories and nursery rhymes, or have fun creating your own stories to reflect particular interests, activities or events.

Respectful touch – children always ask permission before giving a massage, and then offer thanks at the end of the massage. It is vital to remember this aspect of respectful touch. Children’s bodies are their own and it is never too early to learn consent, comfort and respectful boundaries.  In Story Massage, we try to make sure it becomes second nature for children throughout their everyday activities.

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

We all love stories. When combined with the benefits of simple massage strokes, stories present wonderful opportunities for creative fun and interaction. Sharing positive touch offers great scope for imaginative activity and learning for children of all ages and abilities. 


Benefits of Story Massage – Physical

  • Relax the body, easing tension and the cumulative effects of stress. Story Massage offers children the chance to learn the essential life-skill of conscious relaxation.

  • Release of ‘feel-good’ hormones including oxytocin, which help to boost general wellbeing.

  • Improve sleep by encouraging children to relax and switch off from the day.

Benefits of Story Massage – Emotional

  • Increase self-confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem.

  • Enhance a child’s awareness of being valued, and bring a sense of self-worth. 

  • Regulate emotions by encouraging children to learn to process their emotions and react to situations in a calmer way.

  • Build trust and encourage the release of any concerns and a chance for children to share confidences in a calm, comforting atmosphere.

  • Act as a distraction from any worries, doubts or pain.

  • Provide an opportunity for children to look at daily pressures and challenges in a more positive frame of mind.

Benefits of Story Massage – Social

  • Reduce aggressive and hyperactive behaviour. Children feel calmer and less anxious after sharing Story Massage and this reflects in their behaviour at home or school.

  • Increase sensitivity towards others. Children become more aware of how their own actions and emotions can influence others.

  • Build friendships and encourage bonding with others in a fun and interactive way. The shared experience of Story Massage can have a positive impact on relationships with other children and also parents, grandparents and caregivers. 

  • Prepare children for future events or activities – a combination of positive touch with a social story can help children feel more prepared for a difficult transition, such as going to a new class, or an event such as going to the dentist.

Benefits of Story Massage – Educational

  • Help children to focus their minds so they are ready for learning.

  • Improve concentration and engagement – sharing a massage story can help children to fully engage in the activity.

  • Promote the development of imagination, creativity and expressive language – children love creating their own massage stories to share with others.

  • Add a kinaesthetic extension to learning. Story Massage can be used as a curriculum-based activity to learn key concepts, words and dates.

  • Improve communication – both verbal and non-verbal.