Touch is a sense that nearly all of us rely on every day to help us better understand and appreciate our world. From the feelings and sensations in our hands and feet to the physical perceptions we feel in our backs, legs, arms and head, we use touch to find out what is safe or dangerous, what is cold or hot, what feels good and what does not all throughout the day.

Marissa at Mama Needs Massage focuses on this very important sense with her awesome Parent-Child Massage Workshop. My family and I had the great benefit of attending this particular workshop recently and enjoyed our experience. This workshop is designed with parents and their young children in mind and is set in a safe and friendly location. The workshop starts by focusing on the importance of our sense of touch and helps children better understand all of the things that we rely on our sense of touch for.

One of the most important aspects of the workshop is the focus on safe touch and permission. You have to make sure that your partner (child or parent) wants the massage or touch that we want to offer them and that we continually check in with our partner to make sure they are still Ok and are enjoying what we are doing. If they don’t, then even the best massage in the world won’t help at all because it is not what they want. This lesson came back in an amazing way at the end of our workshop when a young boy mentioned that his most important takeaway was this specific issue of making sure you have permission before giving any type of massage or physical touch.

My favorite part of the workshop that Marissa led us through was the idea of telling a story with the massage to make it more enjoyable for both parent and child. The story had different parts and during each part there would be a different move that the massager would use on the recipient to match the story. We also learned some fun guessing activities that included “drawing” on your partner’s back while the partner guessed what you were drawing.

Each of these activities were shared in a fun and safe manner that welcomed and comforted both the child and their parent as they learned ways they could support and encourage each other through safe, loving touch. As a man and father who has sometimes had anxiety with physical touch, it was a bit of a push outside my comfort zone to attend. However, I am really glad that I was able to attend this with both of my children and my wife and was able to at times allow myself to relax and calm some of my anxiety while sharing safe touch and massage with my kids.

I highly recommend this workshop to parents of children at any age, but especially for parents of young children to help them understand and feel comfortable with loving, safe touch from an early age. I especially recommend this for men and boys who may have some anxiety and uncomfortable feelings around touch as it is presented in a safe, non-threatening way that can really help parents and their children connect and enhance their bond. In fact, if you are a Dad, Grandpa or Father-figure reading this Marissa and I would love to team up to offer you a discount to your first session of the Parent-Child Massage Workshop. Make sure to email us here ( and we’ll get you the code to save 20% when you sign up.

Thank you Marissa for your hospitality and for sharing your wisdom with us!

This is fatherhood…