By: Emilie McKay, RMT
Emilie is an advocate for positive self-esteem and body image. Using her bright and sunny disposition along with her caring hands, she loves to help clients feel good about their bodies.
Squishing bodies every day gives you a new appreciation for them. Like many of my colleagues and massage therapists everywhere, I love anatomy. And by love, I mean ADORE. Muscles, nerves, blood vessels, you name it, love them all! How your body interacts with the world and the little nuances it does to adapt to changing environments is so fascinating to me, which is exactly why I love your body.
Now, anatomy aside, you might find it difficult to understand what makes your body so cool. Some of you might be self-conscious about your body. You might be afraid of what lies beneath the surface tissue, that is causing your pain. You might just not care. But as a pro-body awareness advocate, I would like to explain to you all the ways I think your body is awesome.
1. It’s unique to you. No one else in the whole world has your body. From your height and shape, right down to the length of your eye lashes, you are the only you. Which is exciting for me. Each client I see is like a brand new book I get to read. Which muscles are going to be tight, where do they hold their stress, what is their posture like? It’s like a good mystery novel.
2. Yet we are all similar. As different as we all are, we are all very similar. We all have human bodies. Muscles are muscles are muscles. Though they might be presenting in a different way (tighter on some, looser on others), it is still the same type of cells joined together creating the same type of tissue. Realizing this makes you remember just how close we all are to each other.
3. We are squishy, hairy and smelly. It’s natural, stop apologizing. Hair grows under your arms and on your legs. Feet smell. Tummies are squishy. It’s your body being, well, a body. I know sometimes you might feel self-conscious about your body, and I can sympathize, but just remember that it’s how the body works, so we can either fight it or love it!
4. Your body doesn’t lie. Or rarely. Unlike the human mind, the physical body isn’t as good as a fibber. It can tell you all sorts of things about yourself, if you stop to listen. If your muscles are hurting, listen to them. If you have a pain in your neck, listen to it. Pretending it’s not there, or that it will just work it self out, will not do you any good. It can actually make a simple issue much worse if you ignore it. Once you start listening to your body, it will thank you back.
5. Age is irrelevant. Though there is a natural wearing out of our bodies, your age has nothing to do with it. As I touch a body, I can begin to know if you are active, if you drink lots of water, if you are stressed, but for the life of me, I cannot not tell your exact age. So taking good care of your body might give you that “fountain of youth” we’ve all been searching for. On paper you might say you’re fifty, but to my hands you’re thirty-five!
6. You are flawed. Yes, you! Me too. We all have “flaws”. Bumps, lumps, dents, lines, dots and marks. We’ve all got them! But don’t look at them as flaws. There is no such thing as a flawless body. Photoshop is lying to you. It might be difficult to change your thoughts about it, but with all the many bodies I’ve seen, no body has anything to be ashamed about.
7. You are perfect. You make my job awesome. I am so happy that I get to spend each of my work day with such great bodies. I learn something new every day and hope to be able to teach each of my clients something new about themselves. To me, every body is absolutely perfect just the way it is.
And even if I haven’t swayed you into thinking your body is amazing, know that massage therapists everywhere think you’re pretty cool. So maybe stopping in for a few visits with one might help you find that self-love we all need. And if you can’t get in, take a second to look in the mirror, give your self a hug, and say “Thanks, body, for being awesome!”.