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The Massage in Schools Program (MISP) began in Europe more than 10 years ago and it is now in Minnesota. The program is focused on providing massage to children ages 4 to 12 years old. Once the children experience this unique program, they love it. I hope some day this program will be in every school.

The Massage in Schools Program is an easy, accessible and effective tool for improving children’s quality of life in school. The intention is simple: to give children the opportunity to experience nurturing touch at school in a safe way.

By implementing the MISP, teachers will see the school’s curriculum “come alive” in a way that respects children’s inherent nature. Educational goals, including those that are cognitive, emotional and behavioral, are attained through consistent use of the MISP.

Teachers will notice that children begin to interact differently, in a more cooperative and compassionate way. Parents will also be introduced to a new, healthy way of interacting with their children while implementing the MISP at home.

The Massage in Schools Program is divided into two aspects: the basic routine of massage strokes that teachers are encouraged to implement every day; and the aspect of including touch and movement with learning, since children are able to learn more effectively if their whole bodies are involved.

Benefits of the MISP
Research has shown that massage helps strengthen the immune system, lowers stress levels and increases the production of relaxing hormones. A few of the specific benefits which have been observed by teachers using MISP in their classrooms are:

  • Calmer children — improved ability to make choices
  • Improved concentration — improved emotional health
  • Stronger sense of self — reduction in bullying and aggression

“MISP is a tool that teaches respect for others as well as yourself,” MISA-USA board member Allison Dutton says. “It is an essential component to shifting the current education system into a more safe and healthy paradigm.”

Give your children an opportunity to discover the magic of healthy, respectful, nurturing touch through the Massage in Schools Program! MISP also works in daycares, home school/family night, community centers and more.

The Massage in Schools Association was co-founded by Sylvie Hetu and Mia Elmsater in 2000, and it now has 64 instructors in 15 states around the nation, including Minnesota. Two non-profit branches have been established in Colorado and Utah. More information can be found at www.misa-usa.com or on Facebook MISA-USA.

The effects of massage are immediate — and they last a lifetime.

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Jodi Sellers is a Certified Massage in School Instructor and a Certified Massage Therapist who enjoys introducing the Massage in School program to her community and seeing the reaction from the children. She hopes to collaborate with local colleges to conduct research studies on the program to evaluate how it is working with our community. Visit Jodi at www.midnightmoons.com.

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