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The first time I worked with him I just cried and cried; the pain from my accident drained out of me in little shakes. The second time I realized that it was also the pain of being alone and uncared for most of my life; I was no longer crying, just drinking in the goodness of being valued and cared for. Being with someone who is there to take care of you, who likes you and wants the best for you changes everything.
I drive more than an hour to see him. I am a big-bodied Latina lesbian and he is a straight white man. He is the closest thing to my grandmother that I have. She was the one who listened to, understood, accepted, and adored me, no matter what. Now it is him.
When I need to feel at home with another man, who accepts me regardless of what my mouth or mind or body is doing.… Who accepts all of it gently, without comment or opinion.… When I need to return to completeness through tribal belonging: I call him.
He is my go-to-guy for breaking bad habits. When I am giving myself to a man who is bad for me, I see him regularly to get contrast and perspective.
Being with him reminds me of the difference between being self-abandoning, compulsive, disconnected, and doomed, and being self-respecting, intentional, connected, and inspired. He resets me and restores me to reality–the reality of what is healthy and good for me.
As someone who has judged their body their whole life, and felt judged because of their body their whole life, it is a life-changer to feel completely welcomed and liked, accepted and protected, the way I do with him.
I used to make fun of my husband for going to see this guy. I would joke that he was paying real money for not being touched, and would tell him that he could pay me money and I would not touch him either. He was always more calm, grounded, affectionate, and helpful after his “energy work,” but the idea of paying for it bothered me.
Then we met him together. We were at a festival and my husband said, “That’s him.”
I lay on his table for less than ten minutes. He held points on my feet, hands, and head, and shook them a little. I felt some tension in the center of my body slide and let go.
This armor, this cage, this filter that I had been wearing for as long I could remember was suddenly gone. I was speechless, breathing deeply, and completely grateful for my life; crying and looking at the world like a newborn. The struggle of trying to be something was just turned off.
He looked at me with a thoughtful expression and said “This is who you are.”
He reminds me of a different period in history, when people were honest and direct and helped each other.
I was a pretty, rotten, miserable person. I used anything I could to control people into wanting or needing me. This is just how women are, where I come from, and what I knew how to do.
I think he figured me out when I walked into his office. He was immediately kind, gentle, and attentive with me—the way folks are with the elderly. In his eyes I could have been 100 years old. I was used to feeling attractive and desired, and certainly in this situation–about to get a massage–I was expecting to feel powerful and wanted.
Suddenly I was just a person. My body was no big deal.
My normal role and position were unplugged and that was vulnerable and unfamiliar at first. I think he could tell, and made a point of making me talk a lot so that I would listen to myself and realize there was a lot to like about me; a lot more than just my body. It was one of the first times someone seemed sincerely interested in me and sincerely liked me.
I got amazing massages from him. I felt completely precious and completely safe. I knew he didn’t want anything from me. I relaxed like I have never relaxed with another person. I still cry when I think about it. It changed me.
He was like the one teacher who really gets you, believes in you, and wants you to succeed. The one who wants you to be fully yourself more than anything else, and will sacrifice, and put aside personal profit in order to make that happen.
It saved my life.
I worked with him for two years and never spoke to him. I filled in his form and told him that was how I wanted it. I wanted the comfort animals get from their own kind, that basic affectionate encouragement that I was a good creature, and the world was glad I am here. I got it from him. I detached from the story of my life and recentered in the experience of it. I had two homes, his office and the dojo, and it was enough.
I go to the edge with him; the edge of what is safe and possible. I take off my clothes, my masks, my weapons, and my tricks: This is someone I cannot manipulate and would not want to. This is someone I can trust and be real with; every time.
I see him when I need a total professional. He is like my climbing guide on El Capitan; the one I am tied to by metal and rope, hanging above a void as I exceed my assumptions and beliefs.
In his care I lean out past stagnant safety and decrepit sanity into total self-responsibility and total trust in the universe’s goodness. Every time I am completely blessed. Every time I return more whole, more me, having claimed more of myself.
Yelp reviews are here.