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I’ve had many clients ask me why I only work with women or why I’m not willing to accept male clients. This question has been asked so often that I have a quick note about in the FAQ portion of my website. I thought I’d take this opportunity to go more in depth about this decision. There are a variety of reasons why I’ve made the choice to focus my business toward providing care for women. Here are a few.

I’m more comfortable working with women – physically.

It is less physically demanding for me to work with women. In my experience, men are more likely to ask for deep tissue work, requiring more of my physical strength. I have suffered from chronic pain throughout my life and am constantly taking steps to improve my health, not harm it. With women, I can still achieve powerful results and offer them relief without compromising my own physical comfort.

I’m more comfortable working with women – emotionally.

I’ve discussed holding space and the importance of bonding in a previous blog post. When I work with clients, it can be a very personal experience. It is even more personal when I can identify with a client’s pain. I understand and empathize with the physical needs of my fellow women in a deeper way – a way that I could not achieve with male clients.

I find I can do better work when I make that deeper connection, when I can empathize with the pain of my client. I don’t want to offer anyone less than my best, and that’s why I choose to refer men to my friend and fellow massage therapist, Sarah, who is comfortable working with either gender. For her contact information, please see the FAQ section of my website.

I want to care for the caregivers.

I don’t think I’m generalizing when I say that women can be so prone to overlook their own health. This is especially true of women in any and every stage of motherhood. Rather than focusing on keeping themselves healthy, women’s priorities expand ever outward into their families and communities. This can lead them into the realm of chronic pain, a weakened immune system, and other sneaky medical issues. And these complaints shouldn’t stay on the back burner.

By caring for the caregivers around me, I feel that I’m enriching the whole community. I want to promote health at the deepest, most central level: with mothers, sisters, wives, teachers, employees, and business-owners – people who have historically been overlooked.

There is a gender bias in modern medicine.

This is my most serious reason for choosing to work with women. While I don’t want to get on a soapbox about this specific issue, I think it’s important to address the bias that we see in today’s medicine. According to a study performed by Diane Hoffman and Anita Tarzian called “The Girl Who Cried Pain,” women are not always taken seriously when they report pain to their doctors.

In fact, Hoffman and Tarzian reference another study saying that “women are more likely to be given sedatives for their pain and men to be given pain medication.” This means that women’s pain is being treated as psychological and exaggerated in nature. “The Girl Who Cried Pain” concludes that women pain sufferers are “more likely to be inadequately treated by health-care providers, who, at least initially, discount women’s verbal pain reports.”

Throughout my life, I have experienced this bias for myself. I’ve also heard the stories of many women – friends, family, and strangers – who have felt ignored by doctors who discounted their pain. Though I don’t wish to make generalizations about the medical field, I am dedicated to finding a better way for women to treat their pain – one that is maybe outside the sphere of traditional medicine.

If you’re ready to take the big step – if you’re ready to invest in your health – I’m here. You can call me and talk, or you can make your appointment online. I look forward to seeing you on my table.