Over 300 children took part in a story massage session at Bohunt School, Liphook, on Friday 12th October 2012. And every one of the Year 7 students – boys and girls – behaved beautifully.
The assembly was organised by teacher Rhoda Bevan (left in picture, below, with my colleagues Sarah and Toni) who wanted to encourage the children to learn more about the tsunami in Japan and the work of Cocoro Charity in helping to heal emotional wounds through touch.
We began the 30 minute session by talking and showing photographs of our work in tsunami-destroyed Rikuzentakata in April 2012 and it was so refreshing to watch how the boys and girls, aged 11-12, really listened and showed such empathy for the suffering of others.
We offered a brief demonstration of the story massage, written especially for the children of Rikuzentakata, which focusses on the healing power of nature. Then the Year 7 children happily followed the massage moves on a friend and were keen for photographs to be taken to show the children in Japan that they were doing the same peer massage story routine many miles away.
It was particularly moving to notice how they all fell silent at one point, and placed their hands on each other’s head in a nurturing and caring way, a natural gesture that communicates friendship and support for others far more powerfully than words.
Afterwards, a teacher commented on how calm and well-behaved the children had become during and after the simple massage. And one girl came up to me and quietly asked for a copy of the story massage and accompanying actions as she wanted to share it with her mother and five year old sister. How wonderful that this simple story is touching so many hearts and helping to share the healing power of touch.
And after the talk, Rhoda made a display of the event for the noticeboard so that the children could continue to remember those that are still trying to rebuild their lives in Japan.
And the children wrote heartwarming messages to the children of Japan affected by the tsunami. Here is just one example of the many letters, you can read more by clicking this link English Students Support Japanese Tsunami Victims.
Can you support Cocoro’s Story Massage Project?
If you’d like a copy of the ‘Smiling Flowers Story Massage’ or you would like me to give a talk and demonstration of story massage and the work of Cocoro Charity then please contact me (Mary Atkinson), UK representative of the charity.
If you are interested in knowing more about introducing nurturing touch to children your may be interested to read my book Healing Touch for Children or book onto my day course Positive Touch for Children.Â