Racism Lives in the Body - Bodywork is an Antidote
acism is a complex, systemic pathology traumatizing some bodies for the benefit of others. Each of us, responsible for our own body is also responsible for the power dynamics we agree to, perpetuate and propagate.
Conscious bodywork can help people of all races face their pain, discomfort and difficult feelings, including the difficult feelings of collusion in white body supremacy, in a context of personal growth, transformation and healing.
The summer of 2020 brought a new wave of awakening when the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage with a rally cry for the right to breathe.
In the middle of a global respiratory pandemic disproportionately affecting Black and Brown people, laced with police brutality and in the mess of centuries of violence, abuse and generational trauma.
All the shortcomings of this broken system are being laid bare.
Some of us have long benefited from the abusive power structures.
Some of us are traumatized and re-traumatized.
Some of us are exploring...new ways to listen, participate, repair and contribute.
And evolve humanity honoring the healers' oath, Do No Harm.
Trauma, from this lifetime or ancestral, is complex; feelings of being victim or perpetrator ...or both are felt physically; the body is part of every story.
As a practitioner, my aim is to reduce harm present.
I was first taught anti-racism informally, in radical feminist women’s circles, where Elders were in leadership, Women of Color were at the center, and holding space was a value.
On my professional path in holistic health, Indigenous practitioner and massage therapist Jenny Ray instilled in me the importance of always asking where practices come from and to honor the original people.
Bodies have belonged to Indigenous humans for the history of humanity. I am humbled to be privy to some of these medicines; honored to share them forward. Hands-on as well as long distance energy healing is part of the legacy of sustainable personal care practices available to each of us as a birthright, as a part of the natural world.
Online media like Everyday Feminism and Medium have been at the forefront of presenting fresh, raw ideas, crafting new language to talk about things uncomfortable, like race and class and gender, power, privilege and hurt.
But I am particularly excited for the body of work emerging at the intersection of racial justice work and bodywork. Below are a few of my teachers and this list of resources will continue to grow.
"All adults need to learn how to soothe and anchor themselves rather than expect or demand that others soothe them. And all adults need to heal and grow up.”
- Resmaa Menakem
Menakem names how some aspects of racist culture are perpetuated, in part, because of somatically embedded immature habits.
Natural calming practices like grounding and anchoring practices, central to the way of life in most indigenous cultures, are rather absent from our pervasive culture of late capitalism, global ecocide, white supremacy and hierarchical patriarchy.
But self-soothing can be learned; and Olga Chwa is one of the teachers.
Now is the time and invitation for all traumatized bodies to find healing. For bodies of Culture to be offered rest-orations and reparations and for white bodies to face the discomfort, endure the detox and evolve from this addiction of systemic imbalance into new paradigms of social order.
Because these elements all live in the body, I believe conscious bodywork can be part of the solution.
Let's explore what is possible.
If you identify as Black, Indigenous, BIPOC and/or QTPOC and you're here, thank you. If you are open to receiving a telemassage for your immediate needs - musculoskeletal or more subtle, please book your complimentary session for healing and empowerment by clicking above. I would be honored to hold space for you.