Here is a great exercise you can try, particularly with children, to encourage nurturing touch and massage. The Massage in Schools programme educates teachers and care givers on the benefits of massage and how it can enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their children. I tried this exercise recently with a six year old boy who has autism and it was received very well indeed. My own son also loves it...
Your subject should sit with his/her back to you, close their eyes and take a few deep breaths in and out.
"It was a bright and beautiful day"
Imagine you are painting a bright sun on their back and make big circular movements with your hands. Include some soft rays radiating from the centre, outwards.
"The wind gently blew"
Sway your hands from side to side to illustrate the wind blowing
"Suddenly it began to rain"
Make gentle pitter patter movements with your fingertips, across the top of the back and slowly down towards the base of the spine.
"And rain makes big splashy puddles"
Make firm palm prints all over the back to indicate puddles.
"Then the rain turns to snow"
Gather your fingers together as though picking up a small ball and make gentle 'padding' movements like soft snowflakes landing
"And then the fog descends and all is still"
Lay your hands flat, as wide as you can, in one final movement then keep your hands perfectly silent and still
"And before long....out comes the sunshine again"
Repeat the first step
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