January 26, 2015

I’ve been making my living putting my hands on people for nearly a decade now.  Hundreds of bodies have been on my table, living and breathing.  Wanting pain relief and to relax, wanting comfort and care.  My hands have lain on all of them, kneaded, pressed, squeezed.  Coaxed the trigger points out.  Invoked relaxation and some happy sighs, and occasionally a snore or two.

I love the human body, not just because of its fascinating quirks and exquisite structure, but because no two bodies are ever the same under my hands.  And because, even though just about all my clients would vehemently deny it, I think all of their bodies are perfect.

Yes, yours too.  Your body is perfect.  Trust me, I’ve lain hands on many a naked back, calf, arm, neck.  Bodies of all ages and stages, from a day old to a hundred years old.  They’re all beautiful.  Perfect.

Bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages have been on my table.  I think they're all beautiful.

Bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages have been on my table. I think they’re all beautiful.

Those freckles on your back are a pattern all unto your own.  That scar, even though it’s a reminder of pain that once was, is a testament now to the strength that you had.  It’s beautiful.  Those spider veins?  Yes, I can see them, and the wrinkles too, but please don’t be self-conscious.  They’re part of the puzzle that makes you, you.  They’re there because you’ve lived and smiled and had babies and walked miles.

Air-brushed “perfection”, or society’s view of beauty, is so boring.  The asymmetrical lines of a face (from a broken nose, perhaps), the slope of a back (even one with hair on it), the softness of a stomach (that’s held a baby or two), that’s beauty.  There’s no scope for real life in air-brushed-ness.  There’s no reality, no question marks.  It’s so boring.  Lifeless.

I’m lucky.  I get to see and feel all of this life, this perfection, on a regular basis.  My hope is that when you read this you’ll take a step toward realizing how perfect your body is, too.  And in recognizing that, please know that that doesn’t mean loving yourself unconditionally all the time, or embracing each and every quirk your body has.  I don’t know many people who can actually do that all the time.  Even I, with my realistic sense of things, don’t have that ability.

Instead, try and accept that your body is perfectly yours.  It’s what you have.  And it’s beautiful.  Maybe there are things you would change about it.  That’s ok – that makes you human.  So strive for change if you want to, but in the meantime, accept your body’s current perfection.  Treat it well.  Feed it well.  Care for it to foster its continued perfection.  You might be surprised how it responds.

Because it’s only in loving ourselves that we can change for the better.   Hating our bodies doesn’t foster positive change, just as eternal pessimism doesn’t foster happiness.  We have to let go and love for our body to love us back.

And trust me, that body of yours?  It’s worth loving.  It’s perfect.

Jen Wright, RMT