Me myself and I
Our human body is something unique and precious that as a soul we were born into. Within three short years we have mapped our world and decided on the sort of person we are going to be.
Our growing up is pure adaptation to our environment and in order that we can best survive, we adopt social conventions and beliefs without question. Then later in life, we begin to find out the truth about the reality of our existence which initially causes confusion and suffering, from there we either find the truth or bury our heads in the sand.
The first major realities we have to deal with are the continual power struggles within our society and within our own relationships that cause suffering. The cause of these is not immediately obvious and we seldom really understand what is going on. The cause is the lies that have been passed on down through the generations.
Over the hundreds of thousands of years that we modern humans have been around, societies and civilisations have come and gone for a variety of reasons which one of the principal causes of demise is our failure to live with ourselves and each other.
At various times in our history we have lived as free spirits and gone completely naked without any negative consequence other than a few splinters. But since the advent of modern Christianity, the concept of the body being sinful or shameful came into being. Then with the increase in our population and industrialisation, the politics of power made it so that we all have to remain clothed.
The Gospels do not ascribe shame to the human body, this is something contrived by priests and politicians. In fact in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus actually says "only when you can remove your garments and dance on them as innocently as children will you be free."
95% of all students come to class with a phobia about their body and nakedness and 99% of all people harbour a fear of what other people may think about their bodies. Such fear and phobia is a fabrication of one's imagination that is enforced by a society that has taken over almost every element of who we are and we cling to what little we have left. However, as you are walking the path of the healer, you have a duty to overcome fears of nakedness and what people may think as you will share that fear with your clients, which only serves reinforce their own false beliefs.
One of the most terrifying ordeals for many woman is to bear their breasts. After years of attachment to wearing a bra, the idea of going without seems a ludicrous idea even though there is no science that can prove wearing a bra has any beneficial effect on the health of your breasts and what scientific evidence there is, actually supports the contrary view that wearing a bra is likely to be more harmful to your breasts.
We wear clothing to protect our bodies from harmful elements, but in the warmth of the massage room where you are learning or performing massage and in the warmth of your own home, it is more ideal and conducive to healing to be naked.
What you think about someone else's body is a reflection of you and not the person you are seeing. Conversely, what the person looking at you thinks is really none of your business because what they see is simply a reflection of who they are. We all have a conscious choice as to how we see each other and usually once all the clothing comes off, all those negative social values fall away and real work in healing can begin.
As a massage therapist, you are learning to view and treat the body and the same professional manner as any other medical professional, be it a nurse, doctor or specialist. However, as holistic body workers, we are learning to treat the body and a holistic and caring manner and not with the clinical brashness characterised by many medical professionals.
You are learning to work one-to-one with clients in a manner which is both intimate and friendly with clear boundaries, and you must note here that intimate does not mean sexual. Likewise, being naked does not imply any sexuality.
Question 1; are you simply learning to be able to do some physical therapy without affecting the suffering soul of humanity? If you are, stay with your existing values.
Question 2; are you simply learning to become a healer? If you are, what can you do to free yourself from your own suffering?
I would encourage you to look more into naturism and the true meaning of holism.
Holistic bodywork level one