massage therapist | photographer

14 things I’ve learned since leaving massage school : #10

In Massage, Uncategorized on March 29, 2016 at 5:09 PM

(March 15th marked 14 years since my first day of massage school out in Port Townsend, WA. I spent a little time reflecting on what I’ve learned from having my hands on countless bodies of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of health over the years.  In random order here are some of my observations and things I wish my clients knew.)

#10 Every body has a story …

… and we are all seeking love and acceptance.

Please don’t apologize for anything about yourself.

We’ve all had twists and turns in our lives. We’ve given birth; broken a leg skiing; danced at a wedding. We’ve comforted someone with a hug; ran a marathon; tripped while walking off a curb. We’ve gained weight and lost weight. Dyed our greys and tried to minimize wrinkles. We’ve survived the loss of loved ones.

Our amazing, miraculous bodies have carried us through every step of the journey.

People express a lot of their fears before getting on the table. Reasons they believe they do not deserve a massage. They worry they are too overweight; too tense; too sensitive. They forget to shave their legs and feel embarrassed. They apologize for scars and tension and varicose veins.

We, as massage therapists, are not judging you. We are applauding you for being brave enough to take care of yourself.

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One client spent a good 15 minutes before & then during their massage session telling me all the things they believed were unacceptable about their body. They were concerned about being overweight, worried about some holding patterns in their body that they hadn’t been able to release for years, ashamed of some visible scars, uncomfortable with some damage in their feet, etc.

As we continued to do bodywork my intention was to witness them, hoping to create a safe, accepting space for them to be in.  They shared some of their story with me. They had suffered and been abused greatly in their childhood. I don’t want to share details even anonymously as it is not my story to tell. What I do want to share is how much immense respect and compassion I felt for this person. I was awed and stunned to hear about what they had gone through and to know them in the present as a kind, big hearted person. They were angry at their body for being ‘deformed’ and in pain. As I heard the stories of what happened I knew their body had done everything it could to protect them and help them survive.  They seemed to look at themselves as being all used up and of no value. I saw them as a walking miracle. A person deserving all the kindness, love and compassion the world has to offer.

My hope is that one day they will see how amazing they are. And that they will stop being angry with their body and start lavishing it/themselves with kindness. Every body has a story and they all deserve to be honored.

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