Story Massage for Children from Ukraine

For the third year, we were invited to run a creative story massage session for the visiting children from Borodianka, Ukraine. The session was part of a programme of events and activities for children, all aged around 10 years old, and their host families organised by the Portsmouth and Hayling Island link to the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline. This is a national charity set up in 1992, to raise money and support children of Belarus and Ukraine, whose lives will be forever affected by the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

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The charity arranges for children to have a four week recuperative break in Great Britain, away from contaminated food, water and air with the aim of boosting and recharging their depleted immune systems to make a real difference to their health and well being. During their stay all of the children receive medical attention such as dental care and eye tests. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to meet with others, to see new sights and enjoy uplifting experiences. Most importantly, it shows that others around the world care about them.

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This is the third year that we have been invited to run a story massage session for the children and host families. The first session proved so successful in helping the children to bond with each other and settle into a new country that they asked us back again. This time we wrote and illustrated a story massage entitled ‘Welcome to England’ especially for the children. The story was translated into Ukrainian and then laminated to create an A4 sized story massage book. The children were also given a small version of the book to take home.

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We had originally planned the session as a children’s peer massage activity but, with everyone’s permission, we soon found that the young at heart were joining in too – and having great fun! It became a very happy and supportive team effort with all ages following the story massage moves on each other’s back through clothes. The image of children waving flags, for example, was depicted by a zigzag movement made with one hand across the back.

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Feedback from both adults and children was really positive on many different levels. The children said they had really enjoyed it and felt warm and relaxed. They were also looking forward to taking the story massage home to share with their families and friends back in the Ukraine. And we were delighted to spot the children, a few days later, doing Story Massage in Sainsburys!

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Positive Touch for Children Day Course

If you are interested in the power of positive touch for children through creative story massage, then you will enjoy my FHT accredited day course Positive Touch for Children in which explore ways of using positive touch activities in the family home. We will also work with some of the simple  techniques in my book Healing Touch for Children (Massage, Reflexology and Acupressure for 4-12 year olds).

Healing Touch for Children book cover

 

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