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THE healing power of touch has transformed family life for mum Paula West.Paula has a six-year-old son with multiple special needs who finds it difficult to be touched – a heartbreaking situation for any parent.But her time with her son has been transformed since she completed a course in Aromatouch, run by Knowsley council. It’s a simple and creative massage method using essential oils. The council funds courses in it for people who care for children with complex needs.Paula said: “Jamie has always found it difficult to receive touch and our contact was limited to about 10 seconds at a time.

“That is so tough for a mum. But, using the Aromatouch techniques, Jamie and I now enjoy regular 20-minute massage sessions. This is life changing for us.”

The course was run by Sheila Ladanowski, an experienced clinical aromatherapist, and funded by Knowsley council’s Short Breaks programme, set up to help people with children who need a lot of help and support.

“A lot of the people on this course face quite stressful situations at home or at work,” said Danielle Hogan, Short Breaks development officer.

“This helps them to pin point what causes that stress and how they can deal with it.

“They also learn a lot about the healing effects of essential oils and massage and how they can use them to improve their own situations.”

Contact: Knowsley Short Breaks, Tel. 0151 443 5601.