Last weekend I took a training to be a MISP Internationally recognised qualification to teach Massage in Schools. The programme allows children to experience safe and positive touch, to practice saying giving considered consent to touch and the opportunity for a child to learn to massage their peers and parents.
To make the touch safe, trainers do not touch children but may demonstrate on willing adults and the massage is only done over clothes.
At first children are introduced to games in which they learn through movement, the movement is very careful and delicate and children’s attention is brought to consider what feels nice, what is relaxing, how to ask for what you like and how to listen to your body. Later a sequence of massage strokes are taught. This massage could be taught to adults and their children or to groups of children working with each other.
I believe that knowing the difference between safe and scary touch and having the skills to speak up can make a huge difference in child protection as well as receiving positive touch which calms the nervous system and allows children to relax and feel at peace. In Hong Kong where we have many stressed out children this training is really important. I look forward to sharing it soon.