I’m a licensed massage therapist and a board-certified structural integrator. I specialize in helping people feel more resilient and agile in their bodies. The “licensed” part means I can touch people for a living legally, but because of what is invoked when people hear the word “massage,” I rarely identify as an LMT. I’m also a practitioner of neurovascular release and visceral manipulation, and those descriptors best invoke the primary hands-on tools I use. Here’s the rub, so to speak: When I use any of the above titles, even those I currently employ most often — manual therapist and structural…

Can you please listen to me when I’m sharing what feels important?

Please do not reduce me to a machine made of flesh

I’m not an object for you to push, poke and prod

I’m a human being just — like — you

Please do not reduce me to a structure that you can analyze

I’m not a building with a failing foundation

I’m a human being just — like — you

Please do not reduce me to a vehicle of levers and tubes

I’m not a car that needs its tires aligned and oil changed

I’m a human being…

I feel unsure whether I should give voice to this pain — or give pain to this voice. Sometimes that line is very blurry until one steps into it.

I feel made of metal, beat with a mallet into an armor in the shape of my body.

This ghost has been lurking in me since I was six years old.

It was celebrated as a rite of passage for a kid back then. All the kids came gathering around poking my sores with their fingers and smearing them around on their own body’s.

That was the first time I felt…

Willoughby Cooke

Hands on Healer—Somatic Integrative practitioner—Writer

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