The Massage in Schools Association (MISA)
The Massage in Schools Association is a not-for-profit organisation, bringing together and supporting Massage in Schools (MISP) Trainers, Instructors and branches from over 30 countries worldwide. The Scottish branch (MISA Scotland) was founded in 2003 to provide training and support for Scottish members, to spread knowledge and awareness about our unique child-centred massage programme, and to contribute to its ongoing evolution in schools and child-care settings nation-wide.
The mission of the Massage in Schools Programme is to provide high quality and professional training to all teachers and caring adults willing to bring nurturing touch into schools.
What is the Massage in Schools Programme?
The Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) is a peer massage programme for children aged between 4-12 (with adaptations for 2-3 year olds) that's helping people all over the world. MISP is not intended as a therapy, rather it aims to promote the wellbeing of children in the knowledge that nurturing touch is a basic need and a powerful tool to help children develop into healthy, well-balanced human beings. It has been developed as an inclusive whole school strategy for reducing children’s stress levels, aggression and bullying, and is also implemented in other childcare settings such as nurseries, after school clubs, community groups and families.
The vision of the Massage In Schools Programme is that every child attending school experience positive and nurturing touch every day…everywhere in the world.
The peer-massage programme involves
1. Paired children learning the MISP massage routine, through the clothes, on the back, arms, shoulders and head
2. Always asking their partner's permission before they begin and saying 'thank you' at the end
3. Additional imagery-based massage stories and activities intended to spark the children's imagination and creativity
4. Children sharing their learned massage skills with their family and friends
5. Encouraging positive, respectful communication through nurturing touch
It has been unequivocally proven through research studies that regular nurturing touch is a developmental need in children. In targeting this need, proven effects of the Massage in Schools Programme include:
- Improved concentration levels
- Calmer classrooms
- Increase in children’s self-esteem and confidence
- Increase in creativity
- Reduction in bullying and aggression
- Overall increase in emotional health and wellbeing
- Greater social awareness