Go Wellbeing owner, Donna Davis, has won a national excellence award in recognition of her research into the benefits of the Massage in Schools Programme (MISP). The Federation of Holistic Therapists presented Donna with her award, along with a cheque for £500, at a celebratory lunch on 13th November 2013, held at Coombe Abbey in Coventry.
Donna has been a complementary therapist for more than 11 years and runs the social enterprise Go Wellbeing CIC. She works in the corporate sector as well as educational establishments and trained as a MISP Instructor in 2007. Three years later, she was commissioned by the Massage in Schools Association (MISA) to implement and evaluate the effects of short regular massage sessions in a school situation, to formally evidence the contribution made on the behaviour and wellbeing of the children.
Following a six week study, involving over one hundred children at Franche Primary School, the success of the Programme was formally substantiated by positive findings. The published research provided vital facts and figures to encourage more schools to consider peer massage. There are now around 4000 trained Instructors in the UK. Between them they have introduced massage to approximately 2500 schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Over the past three years Donna has produced further evaluations of the Programme, on a regular basis, to enable her to improve and develop the MISP work she undertakes.
The internationally recognized child-to-child massage programme was introduced into the UK in 2000. Children are taught simple massage sequences which they carry out on each other, through clothing and with mutual consent. These teacher-led sessions can help develop a child’s concentration and memory, teaches them to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate touch and helps children develop respect for others, increasing social inclusion and empathy whilst reducing bullying.
“The importance and potential of massage and positive touch should never be underestimated,” says Donna. “Participating schools have told me of better educational achievements by children, improved Ofsted reports, as well as the more day to day befits such as helping children to settle after a busy playtime.”
Dr. John Brazier, Vice President of the Federation of Holistic Therapists, comments: “Our awards shine a spotlight on therapists who have made a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of the clients they support. Donna’s research has helped overcome scepticism regarding the benefits of massage and an increasing number of schools are now embracing the Programme as an important therapy.”
For more information about the Massage in Schools Programme contact Donna Davis at Go Wellbeing on 07954 414 223 or visit www.gowellbeing.co.uk