Updated: Sep 13
Self care and self love. Basically buzzwords at this point, these concepts still have huge implications for and importance in our everyday life. But there is a missing element… Take a bubble bath. Read a book. Walk in the sun. When first learning about self care (and yes, it does need to be learned), these types of suggestions hit the top of the list. As you dig deeper, recommendations become a little deeper. Look at your finances. Be objective about your relationship. Understand your food habits. All of these things boil down to encouraging one thing: self love. Self love as an idea is expressed in loving your “authentic self” (that ethereal character that makes up your personality and essence) and loving your body. Both are equally important. In this article, I want to address here is the love we are taught to send to our physical forms. Love your curves, your C-section scar, your thigh gap, your frizzy hair, your freckled complexion, your knee mole; whatever your body looks like, embrace it! But in all of that loving of looks, can you think of an example when you were inspired to love function? Our bodies do an amazing amount of work for us, all without our conscious awareness. The fact that we can breath, heart beat, walk, and converse at the same time is a miracle, especially since three of those things you do nearly entirely without thought. We should take time to celebrate that marvel.
Sinking even deeper into the the topic and the body; our pelvises, our genitals, and our elimination processes are wonders too. Women typically only want to explore these areas when they are or are trying to become pregnant. All other times, menstruation and feminine pain are taboo or belittled. (While men have a certain level of this forbiddenness culturally attached to their bodies as well, I have never had a penis so I will leave speaking to that experience to someone with better experience.) Some families will hold Period Parties for their young women upon their first menses, but how common is that? Can you think of a time you were praised for bleeding? Or motivated to explore your vaginal anatomy? Taught about masterbation? When we do want to delve into these areas, it feels like it takes no small amount of courage (or desperation) and is done on tip-toes. Why should any of this matter? Most importantly, these are integral elements of your body that should be recognized. Nearly half of women cannot name the parts of their own pelvic anatomy! It is also important to love these areas because what you love, you look at. Just as you perform a monthly breast exam, our health can be maintained by paying attention to changes in your vulva and menstruation. Another vital reason to love your vagina: millions of women suffer from pelvic pain. Most of these women accept their conditions as normal. Cramps so bad you can’t sleep or work? Pee when you sneeze? Sex feels like razors? All part of the price you pay for being female. Many women put off finding treatment for these conditions because of this terrible myth. Or because the pain “only” affects their sex life. (Sex, by the way, is another body function we should be able to dance about!) However, that is simply not true. Pain in your pelvis or vagina of any kind is not normal, especially if it interferes with your life. Talk to your gynecologist, urologist, or primary care physician if you are experiencing pain! If you have already seen specialists and are still looking for answers, give me a call at (856) 857-7535 to learn how complementary therapies such as massage might help you.
It might seem strange to speak openly about your pelvic area, but sexual health is health. Pelvic health is health. Vaginas and uteri are beautiful and deserving of love. Let’s help ourselves, help each other and rejoice for the functions of our female bodies!
LMBT & Founder of Philosopher's Stone Therapeutic Massage
Serving Haddonfield, NJ and Surrounding Areas
Rhiannon loves helping you solve your pain puzzles! A chronic pain specialist with a sub-specialty in pelvic dysfunction, she understands the huge impact pain can have on your life and is dedicated to helping you reach your health goals so you can enjoy your life fully and whole. Though her style can sometimes be described as "therapeutic fluff," she is not the therapist to see for a "just to treat myself" massage.
Augmenting her initial massage training with multiple courses and certifications including SMRT, ATMAT, and IHPS she has the skills to create effective and lasting change for you. But don't go on blind faith - check out her amazing reviews!