PRIDE: Embracing ALL Bodies with Love & Respect. And Massage.

by Marissa Gandelman

We spend a lot of time at the office shaking our heads. This isn’t a massage technique to loosen our neck muscles – it’s out of confusion. Why is someone’s sexual orientation such a big deal?

As therapists, we see bodies as bodies. Parts as parts. Feet as feet, arms as arms, boobs as boobs (well, we don’t touch boobs unless it’s oncology-related). It’s what’s going on beneath the surface that we care about even more, because those emotions – good and bad – are what show up in the physical body.

And if you’re emotionally uncomfortable about your body you can bet your ass (and your neck and your back, etc.) that your physical body isn’t going to feel good either.

The simple term for all of this is “stress.” Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. And don’t underestimate the amount of stress that comes from accepting and loving yourself as the person you are and want to be. Most of us aren’t emotionally equipped to do that alone – LGBTQ or not.

And when stress starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships and your quality of life, it’s time to seek help.

One of the best ways to manage this is to start learning how to love your body, no matter what shape, size, age, gender, orientation or color it is. Your body is sacred and how you choose to live in it is also sacred. It reacts to your mental and emotional state, and the act of being touched with love and care is paramount to your health and growth – it’s like coming home.

Massage can help you connect to that intimate sense of coming home. Coming home to you, coming home to your body, and learning how to live fully and completely in this body. A true therapist has compassion for what this work entails, helping you feel welcomed, safe and accepted.

And when you find home, you find peace. And love. And it’s fucking awesome.

Let massage help you develop a friendship with the body you live in and give you space to experience your body, inside and out.

Our doors (and arms) are wide open. Let’s work together to help you fall in love with who you already are.

Some other awesome links:

http://www.diversitybestpractices.com/news-articles/20-lgbt-organizations-you-need-know

http://sexgenderbody.com/

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.html