How many times have you seen an anxious child or adult wringing their hands in their moment of upset? Our minds are amazing things and we naturally revert to movements to calm ourselves down whether it be using sighs to stimulate deep breathing or wringing our hands to calm us down.
Mindful hand and wrist massages allow children to relax their muscles, calm their breathing, improve their mood, reduces pain, stress, anxiety and tension by way of a natural reflex.
Note: The use of fragrance-free oils or creams is optional. Please ensure that if you do use oils or creams that you have checked for all allergies for your class.
Before you begin:
Set the mood by lowering the lights of the classroom and putting on some relaxing music.
In the beginning, explain to the children how a hand and wrist massage can help them to calm down by focusing on the sensations and encourage the use of deep breathing through the entire session to enhance the effects.
- Sit up straight and take three deep mindful breaths as you allow your mind and body to be in this moment.
- Rub the emollient over the entire hand and wrist area in slow, gentle strokes. (Optional)
- Use the thumb to rub small, gentle circles around the opposite wrist feeling the small bones located here and the sensations being felt.
- Then use the thumb to continue to rub in small circles between bones on the tops of the hands.
- Follow the natural lines along the hand towards the fingers.
- Take each finger in turn and use the thumb to rub in the same circular motion along each finger from base at palm to fingertip.
- Pull each finger softly by the fingertip.
- Clasp hands together, entwining hands (like in prayer) and move hands and wrists back and forth, left to right and in soft circular motions.
- Turn the hand over and use the same small, gentle circular motions of the thumb to rub the palm of the hand starting at the thumb base and then working your way up the palm to the top near the fingers.
- Repeat on other hand
Complete the massage by giving your hand one more rub down like you did in the beginning.
Lay your hands in your lap, take three more deep breaths and continue your day.
During the massage, continue to remind the children that all the motions need to be soft with focus being on their breathing and the sensations they are feeling when they are massaging their hands.
Find more Mindfulness in the Classroom ideas at: www.educationsvoice.wordpress.com