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Environmental Responsibility, A Bodyworker’s Perspective

One of the reasons behind my passion for my career in massage and movement is that it supports my value of protecting and positively impacting the environment. When considering the global ramifications of our modern lifestyle, we need to include healthcare in our scrutiny. As Daniel Lieberman points out in his book, The Story of the Human Body, as the human population grows and lives longer, so too does the incidence of chronic, preventable diseases and disabilities. If you, like me, are seeking to decrease your carbon footprint, you might take into account the impact of your health on both others and the environment.

In general, we all want to live full, abundant lives. To me, this means having a body capable of carrying me through any adventures I wish to undertake, whether it’s an explosive attack on some blackberry brambles in my yard, or a day of carrying my kid up a mountainside. In order to have a well-functioning body, we need to take care of ourselves. This can be through maintenance and injury-prevention, such as eating well, brushing teeth, and moving our bodies in a way that nourishes the tissues within. Or we can act remedially, after-the-fact, such as getting fillings for cavities, or surgeries that attempt to counteract the damage done from arthritis, degeneration, and inflammation. We can displace the work our bodies would be doing for us, were they operating smoothly, relying instead on technology and resources like cars, chairs, cooling and heating systems, factories and transportation companies. For example, I know that when I’m unwell or suffering from an injury, I’m much more likely to drive rather than walk, or eat a ready-made meal with packaging and ingredients transported over long distances to get to my grocery store rather than make a meal from scratch using stuff I have to chop up myself, not to mention pull out of the dirt myself. In a nutshell, if I want to take better care of the environment, I need to take better care of myself.

This is where massage and movement come in. In terms of earth-friendly methods of self-care, bodywork is top-notch. Minimal resources are used—and I particularly try to minimize the amount of oil, linens, and electricity I go through in the name of health. Massage is powered by renewable energy (mine!) and restorative movement is, too (yours!). And the best part is that using massage and movement as important parts of your health care helps you to avoid other services in the future that could be very costly to both you and the environment, all while enabling you to live in a way that reflects your goals to act as a steward of the environment rather than a burden on it.

If you think about it, it’s your environmental responsibility to receive regular massage and movement education. See you soon!

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