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PLANET MINDFUL: In praise of bolder women.

Beata Aleksandrowicz is an expert on massage and a passionate advocate of the power of touch and the importance of human connections. The creator of the Pure Massage Spa  Training Method®,  she teaches  massage around the world from the Maldives to the Cotswolds.  She is contributing to the Mental Wellness Initiative for The Global Women's Institute.

Eight things I know by Beata Aleksandrowicz

We need to recognise the healing power of touch.

Touch  is the mother of all senses,  and is the first sense that develops in the embryo.  It's how we learn about the world around us and it gives us the deepest connection with another human being.  It brings comfort,  reassures us that we are not alone,  provides warmth,  care and attention.

In today's disconnected world we avoid touch because we don't know how to respond to it. People  don't know how to handle intimacy either-  even a simple hug can become a problem. This is  why touch  can be misunderstood and misused.  Positive touch is a condition of physical and emotional growth and I believe massage plays a vital role in restoring that balance.

Social media influencers  in wellness and clean eating are fine as long as they are supportive and provide good information.  But if they intrude on our individuality or impose a specific way of being, I have a problem with that,  because we are all unique in our physical and emotional frame.

A good massage should offer much more than physical relief and relaxation.  Delivered with knowledge, humanity,  professionalism and commitment,  you should feel cared for.  You should also feel a positive change that addresses your concerns.  A good massage should make you feel more positive, at peace and connected with yourself.  There should be clear guidance on how to support the results of the treatment at home.

I truly admire people who do not waste the gift of life.  I gravitate towards people who are dedicated to growth - on a personal,  emotional,  spiritual and physical level.  I admire people who question who they are and their purpose in life.

A good life should include a sense of joy and playfulness and a glass of an excellent wine! But on a deeper level, there is  that moment (in the presence of someone who cares)  where  you have a sense that you belong,  that you are seen, that you are recognised.

I discovered massage by chance. I used to avoid physical contact because through my personal experience I associated touch with violence.  Then I went to an open evening at the Massage school that was recommended to me by a friend and it was a turning point in my life. Massage is a revelation that gave me the most beloved profession and help me to heal my own wounds. It gave me a sense of purpose and is an ongoing discovery.

I would like to change the fast-food attitude to life that has developed in modern society.  By this I mean not honouring or respecting people's time,  by making short cuts in everything,  by being absent from the present moment.

I always recommend you look for human connection in the spa.  To nourish yourself you need to be respected by the staff,  who should know your name,  make contact and be present. Do the staff  really listen to what you are saying,  and are they intent  on providing the best treatment for your personal needs?  Don't be fooled by the look of a spa; think about how you are treated.

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