by Arnie Katz
As a massage therapist and body worker for over thirty years, and having worked with so many gay, bi, and men beyond sexuality labels, I know the power of touch to offer comfort, connection, and to help men to heal from feelings of fear, pain, anxiety, loss and grief. I also know the power of touch to affirm the positive and the best of who we are, and to help us build confidence about our body images and appreciation for our bodies. As someone who certainly knows how to speak, how to write and be fairly articulate, it is even more profound to me that one touch can be more powerful than a thousand words.
The touch itself communicates connection, it helps us to come out of isolation, and to feel more human, more relaxed, more open…yes, even to feel loved and cared about.
I had a client over a year ago who came to me having suffered a trauma when he was a teenager. Getting on a massage table and receiving touch was very scary for him. Through careful and sensitive conversation and touching him in a slow and conscious way, verbally checking in during the process, he has been able to let go of some fear and to allow himself to receive touch. Now, a year later, he can get on a massage table and receive the touch, experience the nurturing, knowing that he is worthy to receive positive touch instead of abuse, and to affirm himself in a positive way.
This is just one example of how touch and caring transforms lives….As I am fond of saying these days—“Hugs are my favorite handshake”. I encourage everyone to give and receive at least three hugs a day. It is good for our brains, our bodies, our immune systems, and our sense of well-being in a way that a cyber-hug can never ever give.
Wishing everyone well and Happy Spring. Three hugs!
Arnie Katz is a massage therapist, facilitator and professional coach. He will be leading a touch-based workshop at Easton Mountain, Thursday, April 26- Sunday, April 29th called “Touch Me!. This will be his fourth full-length workshop at Easton. Learn more and register!