I realised that many people from marginalised groups may miss out on the benefits of bodywork due to excluding factors such as inaccessibility, body insecurities, anxiety or shame and other emotional triggers. I believe that these people are particularly likely to benefit from the emotional and mental effects of massage and other bodywork, and so I aim to create a safer space for bodywork which treats each person holistically, understanding the ways in which we experience the world may impact our experience of our physical bodies.
In 2020 I founded social enterprise Inclusive Wellness which aims to expand this beyond my own practice and increase access to health and wellbeing services for people from marginalised or disadvantaged backgrounds.
This is not to say that you must identify with one of these groups to receive a treatment! I am simply aiming for transparency in my approach to help everybody feel welcome.
As a queer person myself I was frustrated by the lack of holistic therapies on offer specifically for the community. Receiving bodywork can be an intimate form of therapy that requires trust and respect and I strive to create a space where everybody can feel safe and seen. If you feel that your gender identity or sexuality is relevant to your interest in receiving bodywork, for example, due to the effects of dysphoria, chest binding or hormone therapy on the body, this can be discussed during your consultation.
Body and Fat Neutral
Massage and bodywork can be daunting due to the more intimate nature of the treatments. Many people may be worried about removing items of their clothing, or getting onto wobbly 'standard' sized massage tables. Unless the floor is inaccessible to you, almost all my treatments will take place with the client in loose, comfortable clothing, on a comfortable futon on the floor. Massage is a wonderful way to do something kind for your body and to develop a connection with your physical self. Body size or weight is not relevant to your ability to receive and enjoy a massage, and there will be no discussion of diet or nutrition, or suggested exercise regimes as part of my treatments, other than occasional optional stretches and to help me understand where you are at.
Bodywork can be an overwhelming prospect if you are disabled, sensory impaired or neurodiverse. If you have physical access requirements, I am able to meet clients in an accessible premises, or by arrangement in your own space. If the floor is inaccessible to you, we can work from a massage plinth or a chair. If you are sensitive to sound, light, smell or touch, adjustments can be made to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the session. I am happy to discuss any other accessibility requirements to ensure I am able to meet your needs as best I can.
Safety, boundaries and consent are extremely important in bodywork as touch can be triggering for many people. I am happy to discuss and respect any boundaries or other requests you may have with regard to your body and your treatment. Though I have lived experience myself and have completed and developed professional development courses in Trauma Informed Practice, it is important to state that I am not a licensed or qualified mental health practitioner, trauma counsellor or support worker. While I will do my utmost to ensure that you feel as safe during a bodywork treatment as possible, I would encourage you to seek additional professional mental health support for surviving or living with trauma.
A Statement on Race, and Class and Cultural Appropriation
There is something innately human in healing another through touch. Massage is and always has been a global and cross cultural activity. However, there is an undeniable amount of whitewashing and cultural appropriation in the wellness world, and somehow massage and bodywork have often become a luxury indulgence for the rich and the white.
The earliest records of massage practice come from China and the East before they began to appear in the West, and there is a grotesque lack of literature on the ancient bodywork practices of African cultures, though we know they existed. My own practice remains firmly based in the theories and techniques of Thai Yoga Massage therapy which I chose to study extensively having experienced the benefits of the treatment first hand. However, as a white person striving for self-awareness, I acknowledge I am heavily influenced by western massage techniques, practices and culture and do not wish to claim any inappropriate ownership or mastery of another culture's tradition. This is why I choose to refer to myself as a bodyworker rather than a therapist of any particular discipline. I am always willing to further learn and discuss the nuances of this if you have any questions or suggestions!
Bodywork is often inaccessible to many people because of financial circumstance, and it is often seen as a luxury item. Everybody can benefit from massage, especially those living in stressful or unstable situations. I aim to keep my practice accessible to as many people as possible, and can offer treatments on a low cost or sliding scale based on personal circumstances. Please see my fees page for more information.