I'd be lying if I said when I went to school to become a Massage and Bodywork Therapist I was fully aware of the lives I would effect. I had no idea the impact offering safe touch would have on others as well as myself. I look back now and realize so much healing began in those early days of my education.
Four days a week we began class with giving and receiving bodywork, little did I know profound changes were happening to my nervous system. I had spent years treating my own personal anxiety and dysregulation with medication and substance abuse. Massage and bodywork were the gateway to a long and unending journey of dissecting the human experience.
Every single body I touch tells a story; often a story people do not even realize is being told. Our human bodies are the highest form of technology we have; it stores information just like a computer hard drive. So like a tech guy can open up your computer and read file names that look foreign to you, Bodywork Therapists cultivate the same ability except what we read is encoded in your posture, muscular holding patterns, body language and bioenergetic constructs.
Vulnerability only begins to describe what it takes to walk into a space with a stranger, get undressed and allow them to do what most people do not do.. Touch you. For those who have dealt with chronic body shame, physical/ sexual abuse, traumatic physical disfigurement or scarring of the body, this is no small act of courage. And we haven't even touched on the social, cultural and religious beliefs that also weave fear, judgment and shame into the physical body and its natural processes.
This work I do is an incredible honor that has come with many stories of horror and hardship as well as recovery and healing. Touch is no small act of intimacy and massage is a medicine that nourishes the nervous system. For every person who has looked at me with shame in their eyes and disclosed their scars, wounds and sufferings, I honor you with the full awareness of what being a human looks like in both the light and the dark. Please remember you are human and that is beautiful even if it's imperfect.
Shout out to all the Bodywork Therapists creating safe spaces for those of us who need to relearn touch with healthy boundaries and loving kindness.
Huge thank you to the beautiful people who allowed their bodies to be captured in these photos and Violet Crane Photography for the beauty and touch you left on each photo.