As a Complementary Health Therapist who specialises in body work I've worked with many different people. All ages, genders and body shapes. Everyone was utterly unique. And yet amongst all this uniqueness I hear the same doubts, worries and concerns about coming for a treatment.
Most people if not all worry about me, what I’ll be thinking and that I will be making judgement. And I know because I do it myself when I go for a massage. I go into auto pilot, put on my best pants, shave my legs and hold my tummy in. Bonkers I know. And yet the daftest thing is when I work with my clients whether they have hairy legs and arm pits, a saggy tummy, cellulite or a ample bottom never enters my head once. All I see is someone who needs a massage.
So what are we afraid of?
Here’s a list of the common fears most people have and why you should stop worrying and enjoy your massage or body work session.
1. Body Hair
Please don’t apologise. So you have hairy legs/armpits/back it really doesn’t matter that you haven’t shaved just for me. In truth I probably wouldn’t have noticed until you mentioned it and it doesn’t affect the treatment in any way. I probably have hairy legs and pits too!
This goes for all genders. Women if you want to embrace your natural state that’s awesome and men if you’d prefer not to that fine by us too.
2. Your body is beautiful, too
I see loads of bodies and trust me none of them look like an airbrushed model. All bodies are unique and all bodies are beautiful. You may think you bum is too big, or your thighs are too close, or that your tummy sags and you have scars and cellulite. Believe me when I say I see you as someone who needs a massage not a list of imperfections. We are so conditioned by the media to have an idea of how we should look that we forget how beautiful and unique we all are. I’m hear to help not to judge.
3. Bodily functions are normal.
I lose count of the times someone apologises for their tummy gurgling. The look can almost be of horror, ‘oh I’m so sorry, I missed breakfast’. The thing is, most body therapy or massage treatments have some component of relaxation. And when in this glorious relaxed state your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and the rest and digest mechanism does its thing. So yes, that does means stomach growling, snoring, even passing gas are normal. Yes NORMAL. Don’t worry it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, that’s a great sign you are relaxed. As a healthcare professional, it doesn’t faze me so don’t worry.
4. Tell me what feels right.
I’ve never known anyone not enjoy a massage but I have learnt that people like different things; so never be afraid to say what feels right for you. You may be a person who prefers a deeper massage, or a lighter touch. You may enjoy the benefits of abdominal massage or you may hate your feet being touch. It’s okay to talk to me and ask me to adjust my pressure or not work your feet. I’d rather you did than leave feeling like it wasn’t comfortable or enjoyable. Remember everyones prefered style of massage is different.
So next time you book in for a treatment try not to worry just enjoy the time and relax.
Today I had every intention of getting to grips with my online marketing. I've been meaning to do it for ages but if I'm honest I kept putting it off. It's not my most favourite thing to do (I'd rather be with clients and doing hands on stuff) but as an ex marketing professional I value it's importance so decided today would be the day that I got to grips with Adwords and visibility. Or so I thought. Before deciding on what my words would be I thought I'd check my emails and to my horror realised that I had almost 3000 unread emails in my Inbox! 3000, I mean really? Can you imagine what that feels like?
I always knew deep down that they existed and what they were (I do read the important ones). They were from organisations whose mailing lists I'd subscribed to and then never read anything from, duplicated receipts, offers, deals and basically just junk. I felt a strange sense of guilt at allowing them to build to such a volume and at the same time an immediate need to delete them all - but of course this involved having a quick read just in case I did need them after all.
The surprising thing was how much better this made me feel. With every batch that I consigned to the trash basket I felt a sense of relief and lightness. The more I trashed the better and lighter I felt. There were emails relating to old work projects, correspondence that wasn't as kind as it could have been, messages from toxic relationships, things and people and projects no longer in my life. I found myself almost chanting 'thank you for your teaching and goodbye' with every press of a button. It felt gooood.
What struck me the most was the sense of spaciousness I felt. Like a weight had been lifted. As though I had now given myself the conditions I needed to move on. Letting go to create space for something better. And that led to me thinking about spaces and voids and the fact that nature abhors a void ........... but I'll save those musings for my next post.
Hello again! It's been a while. I started this blog at the beginning of the year with all good intentions of writing a weekly post - sadly that hasn't happened. In hindsight I think I was struggling to write because I was struggling to find my true voice. Being authentic is really hard.
Since qualifying as a therapist I admit I've found it hard to find my way. I knew what I wasn't but I couldn't find what I was. Or rather in truth I dare not be what I was. This left me in a strange limbo land of not knowing where I was going or what I should be doing. The only thing of certainty was the name I chose for my professional life 'Wolf and Flow'. I didn't understand what the words meant. They just came to me and felt very, very right.
But like the image I was the girl who was running from the wolf. Why couldn't I embrace Wolf and Flow? Whatever it represented. In a nutshell - I was scared. Scared that if I embraced Wolf and Flow, I'd have to be authentic. This scared me even more. I was scared that the world would shame me, laugh at me, not take me seriously. But I couldn't be what I perceived the world wanted me to be either. So I was caught on a wheel, going around and around trying to be something that I knew I wasn't.
And then I started to meet people. Nice people. People who came into my life when I needed them the most. People who said it's okay to be different, that to be authentic you have to embrace all that you are. Don't try to be what you are not. So slowly and gently I reached out to Wolf and Flow. I stroked the wolf and knew she was my friend.
And now 9 months on I am finally able to put my hand on my heart and say this is who I am and this is what I do. There is no hiding, no shame, no what ifs. I have come to recognise that I am Wolf and Flow. Always have been and always will be. I stand proud that I have the courage of the wolf to stand up and be me embracing my flow of experience whatever it may be.
This post may have been 9 months later than I'd envisaged but I think it's worth the wait.
All images: Lucy Campbell
So it's a new year and my first post. To be honest I was struggling what to write. Something about myself, my work, my hobbies, health and wellbeing? So much to choose and yet just not the right thing.
But then I came across a Facebook post by Lissa Rankin. It was a beautiful, personal post about choosing a word that respresented her intention for the year. I loved this idea and knew instantly what my word would be - RESPONSIBILITY.
It's so easy for us all and me in particular for us to loose sight of this. Not exercising or eating right - not enough time. Work not as busy as I'd like - I'll do some marketing...... tomorrow. Saddened by local and world events - read the news and do nothing! Well this year it's going to be different. I can and will make a difference.
So my word of intention and vow for this year is responsibily. No more blaming others, procrastinating and doing nothing. Nope no more. This year I will take responsibility and action.
Like the little spider methodically making her webs, connecting and creating, I'll put down my plans and make connections, creating my own world and fulfilling my dreams.