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Castlefields Primary School in Shropshire also runs the Misa programme, and headteacher Jackie Hampson says she’s seen the benefits first-hand. “The children were sometimes playing too roughly,” she remembers. “Massage demonstrated the power of positive touch, rather than pushing and shoving each other around.”
The ethos of the program is to reduce children's stress levels, aggression and bullying in schools: it consists of simple peer massage, received with the child's permission, on the back arms and hands. It's a program specifically aimed at 4-12 years old: positive touch lowers stress levels and improves concentration, which in turn facilitates learning and a peaceful atmosphere in the classroom.
The types of touch each child receives can have direct effect on the architecture of their brain. During the first five to seven years of life, it is extremely critical that we provide nurturing touch, as this is the optimal time for brain development.