Pilot Study September-December 2013
Child A Age: 8 Gender: Male
Baseline observation: Has total global delay, dyspraxia and behavioural difficulties. Struggles to sit and stand still.
Goals with massage for this child: To work well with partner and learn to sit still in a natural manner and to co-operate.
Session 1: Bit unsure of what was expected and was restless both giving a receiving massage but seemed to get some enjoyment from the experience.
Session 2: A bit more confident and gave some nice massage to partner. He appeared to enjoy the session today and said “it made me sleepy”.
Session 3: Both gave and received massage well today. He seemed to be sitting well and relaxed his posture – no wriggling around on his seat.
Session 4: Refused to take part today
Session 5: New partner given today. Partner appeared firmer with movements and this was echoed back when giving the massage. Did not manage to sit still today and did not appear to enjoy to the same extent as previously
Session 6: Original partner back today. Massage appeared to be given and received well. Good sitting and calm movements. “Much better today it was nice”.
Session 7: Wanted to give massage today but not receive. Appeared to give a nice massage and then sat quietly watching the others. “I liked watching and it was nice”
Longer term observations: He has become gentler in his movements and much calmer after a massage session.
Child B Age: 7 Gender: Female
Baseline observation: Has a nervous disposition and struggles to overcome anxiety, which is often expressed through nervous chatter and fidgeting. She has severe asthma.
Goals with massage for this child: To learn to be quiet, restful and calm
Session 1: Seemed to enjoy the session but chattered on and off throughout the class. Did manage to quieten down when receiving massage and one or two moments of calmness appeared to happen.
Session 2: Good hand work and positive feedback given from partner about the massage received. She seemed to enjoy the massage. A bit less talkative and closed eyes towards the end of the routine
Session 3: Received massage first and was quiet during the movements but chatting on and off as transitions from one movement to the next. Seemed relaxed and breathing appeared to be slow and calm. “I liked it, it was really relaxing and fun”.
Session 4: New partner today. Worked well giving the massage and looked closely at hand signals to adjust pressure accordingly. Receiving massage, seemed tense and kept calling out “too hard”. Struggled to settle down to work after massage today.
Session 5: Gave massage today and managed to stay quiet throughout. Refused to receive massage today.
Session 6: Received massage and seemed to relax fully. Eyes closed and only talking on one or two occasions. Gave massage and concentrated well on movements. “It was really nice and I felt sleepy.”
Session 7: Massage today in group of three. A bit of discussion but not excessive. Seemed to relax a little more today and settle into receiving quicker than before.
Longer term observations: She has continued to relax and exhibits calm breathing during the sessions and become much less talkative. Now she can be silent throughout the session only talking when swapping over roles with partner. She is often calmer for a time after receiving massage.
Child C Age: 9 Gender: Male
Baseline observation: Has separation anxiety and issues around healthy touch as well as behavioural difficulties.
Goals with massage for this child: To learn to accept and give positive touch and to become calmer.
Session 1: Excitable and distracting self and others. Did not seem comfortable receiving massage and appeared heavy handed in giving.
Session 2: Insisted on giving massage first and again seemed firm in his approach. Received massage but again did not seem particularly relaxed or calm.
Session 3: Gave massage and it seemed that his movements were a little gentler. Nice feedback given by partner but he refused to receive a massage today.
Session 4: New partner today. Worked well both giving and receiving massage. Seemed to relax a little more today and closed eyes towards the end of the routine. “It was better today.”
Session 5: Absent from session
Session 6: Gave and received massage. Seemed to be responding better to partner’s hand signals and adjusting pressure to suit. He gave hand signals today as well and seemed to be much calmer. “I was so relaxed I was nearly sleeping.”
Session 7: Both gave and received massage. Seemed to enjoy massage today and closed eyes near the start of the routine. Took a while to swap over and give massage. Feedback from partner was positive. “I didn’t want to swap, I wanted more.”
Longer term observations: has become better at recognising positive touch and how to give and receive. He has also learned to communicate through hand signals his wishes and to respond appropriately to the wishes of his partner.