It’s no secret that I love Valentine’s Day and always have. It all started when I was little and my mom would make heart-shaped egg in a hole for breakfast. That little whole wheat sliced bread heart, kissed in butter in the cast iron pan, only came around once a year. At school, there was the exchange of cards and conversation hearts. And don’t forget public transportation! I’ve always beamed at people on the subway with flowers in hand, faces nervous or sublime behind the crinkle of cellophane. More often than not, Valentine’s Day is not so much a romantic holiday for me as it is a celebration of all kinds of love. Heart-on-your-sleeve Day, maybe. Thank-your-mom-for-countless-breakfasts-even-the-ones-that-weren’t-special Day. Gratitude-for-people-dropping-their-armor-and-declaring-love-in-public Day. Yes, yes, and yes. I’m all for all of it. And as a massage therapist, I would be remiss if I did not put out a special appeal during this week of sweetness for some extra body love too.
This Valentine’s Day, I ask: What would it take to fall in love with your body?
Maybe it’s a new softness between your shoulder blades, which just yesterday felt tough and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s walking with a little less knee pain. Maybe you can fall in love with deeper breaths, finding ribs that have become rigid by bracing you against winter cold newly expansive and open. Maybe you could come to love yourself more by working some new warmth and flexibility into hips that have been challenged to maintain balance on icy sidewalks these past few weeks (it’s hazardous out there). Or maybe some better range of notion in your neck would make you feel good, all the better to cast loving gazes in all directions this Valentine’s Day. Heck, maybe you just need to lie down in a warm place, wholly and completely accepted, in order to nudge yourself toward self-acceptance.
Massage is good for so much of what ails you. Feeling better in your body is a great step toward feeling better about your body. Whether you’re partnered up or single, surrounded by friends or missing your dear ones, in the shape you want to be in or struggling to get there, massage can be your cupid this winter, matching you up with your own body, smoothing the places that feel crumpled, warming and softening the skin you’re in, so you can feel better, more at ease, ready to be your own best valentine.