The Effects of Positive Touch
Posted on 22nd November 2021 at 12:06
It’s common knowledge that massage therapy is proven to ease physical pain, soothe and repair strained muscles, and encourage healing. Massage therapy is also incredibly effective for reducing anxiety and healing the mind alongside the body.
In this blog, we’re going to be discussing how positive touch can impact the mind and mental health.
For some people, massage therapy can be a very difficult concept. Some individuals that have experienced physical injury or trauma can find massage therapy very daunting. For example, mastectomy patients, those battling dysphoria, physical deformities, or victims of assault or attack. Positive touch and massage are a great way of breaking down those barriers and retraining the mind to see touch as positive instead of associating It with stress and negativity.
Feeling In Control
Any client needs to know that therapeutic touch is within their control and happening at their discretion. We take particular care to reassure our clients that have had negative experiences in the past. Massage therapy isn’t something that’s done to you. It’s something in which you are an active participant. You are in a safe space. It’s something that, as a client, you are guiding, not following.
How Physical Touch Can Help
One example that we’re going to be talking about today is the effects of massage for somebody in the transgender community.
Physical touch can be a major source of stress and fear for members of the trans community. Unfortunately, in recent years, Transgender people have been conditioned to expect discrimination, harassment, and even physical violence from the people around them — including medical professionals.
This near-constant anxiety has deep and harmful effects on the health of the community. Over 28% of transgender patients don’t seek the medical attention they need in fear of mistreatment, and 70% of trans people report having experienced personal or healthcare discrimination in medical settings. The immediate effect is that many trans and gender non-conforming individuals are not getting the care they need when they need it — a pattern that can contribute to chronic health problems down the line.
If medical attention has been a source of concern for trans patients who’ve experienced disrespect or dehumanisation, massage therapy can be the first step in a journey back to self-love, self-care, and a revitalised mind-body connection.
Overcoming Negative Body Image
Everyone in our society is sadly exposed to unattainable, gendered beauty standards, but these standards have an arguably more damaging impact on people whose body shapes and sizes may not fit typical cisgender ideals. And while there are countless body shapes out there — there are plenty of tall, broad-shouldered women, and delicate, dainty men too — these physical ideals can be particularly harmful to people carving out a new gender identity for themselves or coming to terms with a change in their physical appearance.
Everyone has a different level of comfort with their own body, so when you’re in a vulnerable state on a massage table, maybe without much clothing on, and you add the idea that you might be judged by a therapist who hasn’t gone through the same experience as you, or who is just uncomfortable, you can miss out on all the positive benefits.
The right massage therapist can put all of those worries to rest and make you feel relaxed so that you can gain all the benefits from a massage treatment, not just the physical ones.
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