What if my body isn’t normal?

I was looking over some of my case studies from my Massage and Aromatherapy training the other week and reminded of how important being accepted is to most of us.

Jenny, (not her actual name) had a very severe kyphosis and lordosis (abnormal curvatures of the spine) which affected her mobility but more significantly her self esteem was very low and because of her condition had been subject to a lot of bullying at school.

An abnormal Kyphosis, though without the lateral spinal curvature the young woman I worked with had.

This led to her being an in-patient at the mental health adolescent unit where I worked at the time as a mental health nurse.

She agreed to be one of my case studies and I would give her a half hour back massage, once a week. Because of the abnormal spine, she could not lie on her front but would lie on one side then the other with several pillows used to make her comfortable.

Initially the massage was primarily for pain relief, however, over the time she worked with the whole team at the unit, a much more profound effect was the fact that I did not react with revulsion to her body. I used essential oils of Rose,  Frankincense and Geranium as a combination to help with her grief over not having a, “normal body.”

Since then, I have worked with many clients with body image issues, some medically obese to the point where there health was at risk from it and others suffering from anorexia. What has struck me over the years is that many have just as severe self image problems as Jenny though without any obvious physical reason for this. After leaving the unit where I worked, Jenny went on to university and with a vastly improved self image did gain a boy-friend.

My message is that anyone can benefit from an Aromatherapy Massage, whether their body is, “normal” or not. I will not recoil in horror whatever your body shape and if that is your own reaction, I may even be able to help you not to do the same.

An oil that is particularly good for those who have difficulty accepting their bodies the way they are is Patchouli which with it grounding activity, similar to Vetiver helps us to be more in touch with both our bodies and our true selves.