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Teaching children about positive touch

Scientists link massage with calm and relaxation


Massage is a lovely way to help children relax, as well as teaching them about positive and negative touch.

The skin is full of nerve endings which respond to touch, positive and negative, which is what makes gentle massage feel so nice. However, scientists have recently been able to link massage to relaxation and feelings of calm.

India Morrison, a neuroscientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has reported that the findings imply social touch is not simply nice, but that it has calming power in the context of something less-than-wonderful.

Massage is one of the 7-steps of a Relax Kids class. It helps children learn to respect each other and themselves, and is a lovely, calming way to build confidence, relax and make friends. Children ask permission before giving a massage, and say thank you when they receive a massage.

Children use very gentle massage strokes and learn to be kind and gentle with one another. Children love the massage section of a Relax Kids class.

“If someone’s not your friend and you give them a massage, then they become your friend after that.”- Emma (age 9)

Massage teaches children important emotional skills that they can apply to other areas of their life.

“I run Relax Kids sessions with Young Carers who look after their disabled parents. The young carers have reported back to me following a session that they have gone home and used the massage strokes on their disabled parents. Amazing!” – Gill, Relax Kids coach.

To learn more about the 7 steps of a Relax Kids class or find a class near you, visit our class page.