This is a topic that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while as it comes up more often than I ever would have imagined. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or what but it boggles my mind to hear of how many people do not touch themselves! I’m not talking about in a sexual fashion. I’m talking about knowing your body and exploring it with touch. I kind of think it is outstandingly odd that in an area where hugging strangers is the norm, but touching yourself is taboo. (Why is that?)

Now that I am doing scar release therapy, I am learning that for some reason people just don’t touch themselves, ESPECIALLY when scars are involved, but also for many other reasons. After I have worked on an area that was full of scar tissue, I will check in and ask “How does this feel? Does it feel better?” and it always shocks me to hear “I don’t know, I don’t really touch myself there.”

Touch is one of the first steps in healing from a traumatic event. It is a way of communicating with your body that what has happened is ok, and you have survived and continue to live on.
Touch is one of the first means of communication when it comes to discovering something is not right in your body. Finding those lumps, bumps, bruises, cysts, lesions, moles, bites, etc.

If you can’t identify what is healthy and supposed to be, how can you hope to identify when something is not right?

So, I plead with you! Touch yourself. Explore your body with your hands. Get to know what is supposed to be there. If you find something that feels off. Catalog it. Watch it. Get a second opinion. Watch for change. Watch for improvement or worsening.

There are some places you can’t see because of where it may be located. If you have a significant other … psssst … it’s ok to ask them to take a look at it! If you don’t … your doctor should have no issue checking it out for you.

I get it. I really do. When my first weird lump came up, the first person I turned to was my massage therapist. “Hey can you feel this and tell me if it feels normal to you?” She looked at me like I had three heads! I should have known what normal felt like, but I was just as guilty as the next person. I did go to the doctor and have it looked at, and it did turn out to be nothing.

Now, as a massage therapist, if I see or feel something while working on you, I promise you, I will point it out to you. I will describe it to you just how I feel it to be. But … I do not touch every part of your body. I’m actually precluded by law in touching some parts AND as a massage therapist, I’m not allowed to diagnose, so I will not do that. I can say, “Hey, I this feels a bit odd, what do you think? or You might wanna have this checked out.” But if you do find something odd, and ask me to look at it I can not say “That looks like cancer.” If it looks suspicious (not even talking cancer here … rashes, infections, or anything that isn’t “right”)…, I will say with strong conviction that you should have it checked by your doctor.

You really should be touching every part of your body every time you bathe anyway, how else can you ensure it is clean?

So, even though it is my job to touch people, and I do point things out to to people on a daily basis about their bodies. It is your body first, you should be more familiar with it than I am. It breaks my heart to hear things like … I haven’t touched that area with my hands since the accident/surgery etc. Please … touch yourself. It’s ok. It really is the first step in healing.
Nothing is so healing as human touch.