Mary Atkinson, FFHT, shares the power of story massage through Facebook

Mary and Emmanuel

With strict social distancing measures in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus, FHT Fellow and accredited course provider, Mary Atkinson, is sharing the benefits of story massage through the power of social media.

Accompanied by her trusty teddy, Emmanuel, Mary is demonstrating live massage stories on her story massage programme Facebook page on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm.

Mary said, ‘When I realised the full implications of the coronavirus, I wanted to do something to support those who are already using the story massage programme at home or work, and so I put together a free leaflet of 36 new massage stories, including one on staying safe.

‘I promoted this on social media and was totally, overwhelmed when I received over 2,000 emails, from people using the programme at home, in schools, care homes and hospices. I had no idea so many people were enjoying it. They told me that the combination of positive touch and story is perfect for the current climate as it brings connection, fun, and eases anxiety. It is so simple, too.

‘One schoolteacher suggested I should do live Facebook posts, so that parents could follow it as part of a home-school partnership. So, I plucked up the courage and did my first live demonstration on 29 March. I chose the original story of The Smiling Flowers that I had taken to Japan after the tsunami in 2011.

‘I was absolutely amazed by the positive response. More than 200 people – of all ages and abilities – enjoyed my first live demonstration and have made it a regular slot in their diary. I was particularly touched by news that refugee families were taking part, as well as lots of parents at home with children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Many schools are now making it part of their timetable and I am asking each to choose their favourite massage story.’

After each live demonstration, Mary uploads a recording on her Vimeo channel, so those who watched it on Facebook can access it again for free. In addition, she has reduced the price of her e-book, Healing Touch for Children (available on Amazon), to just 99 pence, for those wanting to learn more.

Important note: If, like Mary, you are looking to provide remote support, please check that your insurance through the FHT will cover the work you are doing. You can find more information in our recent blog post, Tools to help you support clients remotely, but if you have any queries or you are unsure if your activities will be covered, please contact the FHT at

How are you supporting your clients remotely?

We know that lots of our members have taken the initiative to support their clients remotely during social distancing measures. Whether you’re showing clients via Zoom how to do self-help techniques to ease muscular aches and pains through, or your emailing them your own hand charts, with instructions on how to work different reflexes or pressure points to ease stress and anxiety, we’d love to hear from you!

While we might not be able to share every members’ story, please tell us a little bit about your work, so that we can get in touch if we’d like to share more about your work on our blog – simple email Leanne at

Thank you, and stay safe.


One thought on “Mary Atkinson, FFHT, shares the power of story massage through Facebook

  1. Finding alternative ways to help our clients and disseminate information surrounding mental healthcare is so important during this time. Thanks for this post!


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