I was recently informed of an exciting new book that’s been written and published by Mia Elmsäter and Sylvie Hétu, the women who created the Massage In Schools Programme (MISP), entitled “Touch in Schools: a revolutionary strategy for replacing bullying with respect and for reducing violence”.
When I was going to massage therapy school I got a chance to work with a massage therapist in Vernon who was running a Massage In Schools Program. We went into one of the local school and visited a grade one, grade two/three and grade four/five class and spent about 20 mintues to a half hour in each class walking the children through a simple chair massage routine. Chairs were neatly organized into rows, the children paired up and decided who would go first and the receiver took his or her seat sideways on the chair, the massager standing behind. My mentor would go through the strokes while all the children followed along on their partners’ backs.
It was beautiful to see the determined looks on their faces as they tried to get the moves just right, or to see the ones receiving close thier eyes and quietly sink into the relaxation of thier classmates touch while minutes before they had been bouncing off the walls. Massage In Schools has been shown to decrease stress levels in the children who participate, leading to better concentration at school and better sleep. It’s an amazing and powerful idea and I’m so glad that Mia and Sylvie have written this book so that word can be spread. This will be a must read for all of those who work in education, for parents with a child in elementary school or for anyone who loves children. To learn more about MISP click here. To learn more about the Touch In School book click here.
I’m also very excited to be involved now with MISP in bringing a course to BC. I will be helping to organize a two-day MISP course in Vancouver sometime in the new year. If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking the course, please let me know and I will keep you informed as the planning progresses.