I absolutely cherish human connection, touch, and physical affection. Growing up those things were discouraged or forbidden, based on the fear that it would lead away from God and into sin. I have always felt too affectionate to be allowed, but in my healing journey, I have learned to accept this part of myself more and more. Positive touch is not only needed for thriving, but for basic survival and wellbeing.
This is why I have been so grateful for the role that massage therapy has played in my life. Massage school was an extremely healing season for me. The profession has been a wonderful way for me to share positive touch and express affection in a modality that is understood by others and society. Massage therapy has always been about more to me than the manual manipulation of muscles for stress/pain relief. I have revelled in the deeper emotional connection that touch facilitates. What does it mean to have someone touch you like you matter, like they see your value, like they cherish your existence in the world? It’s priceless and healing, on levels far deeper than releasing knots.
As a culture we are hyper aware of the dangers of negative touch. So we often end up simply missing out on touch altogether. But intentional positive connection with trustworthy humans is essential for healing and thriving. Touch is communication, and it can say the most beautiful things. I want to write poetry when I touch others. If we can bring healing to individuals through positive touch and loving affection, we can bring healing to the world.