As you send the cherubs back to school, you’re probably thinking more about having a massage or a reflexology treatment yourself, so calm your now-frazzled nerves after six weeks of having them at home.
But in 2008, one UK council decided that reflexology was in fact the way forward for disruptive pupils.
Lambeth council in south London spent a whopping £90,000 on getting reflexology therapists in schools in a bit to tame the unruly behaviour of some of the school children. The therapists from Bud-Umbrella, a charity based in London, went out to 60 primary and 14 secondary schools in Lambeth to work with under 13s who were considered by their schools to be misbehaving.
Reflexology sessions are well known for being able to calm aggression, as well as being helpful for listening skills and concentration, all good ideas for the average classroom.
A spokeswoman for Lambeth council said at the time that they felt it was important to address behavioural issues in young people, and that they were not going to apologise for doing so by using “different and innovative methods” but did say that the reflexology was going to be used alongside more traditional methods and not in isolation.
She also said that there had already been a 50 per cent increase in attendance and 60 per cent decrease in exclusions among young people involved in the programme. Mind you, if we got a reflexology treatment just for going to school, we’d make sure we turned up, too!
The sessions were successful according to Bud Umbrella – their own monitoring and evaluation systems showed that their approach was 20 per cent more likely to improve educational and behavioural outcomes and reduce the number of excluded pupils. Sadly, government cuts meant that funding for the Bud Umbrella group was cut to the point that they had to close in 2011 so we’ll never know if reflexology could have helped pupils in the long term.
For a few ideas on pressure points to massage to improve concentration – teach your kids these for boring lessons!
Copyright © 2017 The One Thai Massage