What is Story Massage?
A story massage is a storytelling session read out by a parent, carer, teacher and instructor, where the child or children sit on the ground, in pairs or in a circle. The corresponding simple massage strokes are performed over the clothes on the back, shoulders, head and arms on the child in front of them. No oil is required for these massage strokes. All massage strokes are the same or have been adapted from the stage 2 Rubba-bubba Baby massage course.
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Rubba-bubba massage stories are easy to follow and straightforward to learn for children from 18 months to 6 years. If the child is unable to sit unaided and unwell or time of day, a story massage is equally as effective while the child is lying down on their side. Choose a comfortable position to suit both the child and parent/adult or children. It is popular in a varieties of settings including toddler groups, schools, family centers, hospices and the family home. Positive touch through storytelling is an extremely beneficial for children.
The Benefits of Story Massage
The benefits of a Story Massage is a wonderful way to learn in a creative way. It combines the advantages of positive touch with a fun short story or rhyme. Strokes are simple and safe and can be particularly helpful for children and adults with additional needs.
The benefits of story massage include:
- Provides conscious relaxation
- Improved calmness and concentration
- Is a fun activity
- Releases ‘the happy’ hormone
- Builds confidence
- Builds self esteem
- Improves social skills
- Increases engagement in activities
- Improves communication skills
- Build respect and positive relationships with others.
Toddlers/children may choose to listen and watch the story of others. Even watching others being massaged releases calming hormones. Before starting a massage story there is a warm up to perform. This is where there is an opportunity to ask the toddler/child if they are ready for a massage. This promotes respect and encourages positive and consented touch at all times. Also at the end of the book there is a warm down to finish.
When should a Story Massage Be Avoided?
- If your child is unwell- a fever, rash, sunburn or any contagious condition.
- If a toddler/child refuses a story massage or seems uninterested.