My name is Ana, my pronouns are she/her/they/them and I'm an Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist specialising in LGBTQ+ patients. From my clinic, I work to create an inclusive, trauma informed and safe environment for LGBTQ+ people to access massage therapy. This allows my patients; the majority of whom are Transgender, to feel they can be themselves and share the story of their bodies honestly and safely. Often, these are stories of trauma, dysphoria, hormone treatments and surgeries which are contributing to physical and emotional pains within the body either through a lack of healthcare, complications or simply mounting stress. These issues also can interact with underlying chronic pain issues, creating unique health needs.
By helping you feel safe to be yourself within my clinic, massage therapy can be used to help you reconnect with your body in a controlled and safe way, and reduce down your pains and tensions. To do this, I combine advanced clinical and holistic techniques, practice active consent through out, and work through a trauma informed lens. Treatments can vary depending on need, ranging from singular sessions up to 6x part specialist treatment plans. I’m very proud to be a long term healthcare provider in a lot of my Transgender clients lives and have supported them through all different stages of their transition and beyond.
Working within the LGBTQ+ community for many years, I have worked to become a specialist in my field and have written on Transgender healthcare for academic textbooks, delivered training to international organisations and was humbled to be awarded Inclusive Therapy Practice of the Year 2021. I also co-wrote and now co-lecture on the worlds first LGBTQ+ Inclusive Healthcare course for healthcare professionals.
Whilst I specialise in working with the LGBTQ+ community, everyone is welcome within my clinic as long as they are kind and respectful. I work with patients with a range of health needs including the physical and emotional impacts of Gender Dysphoria, hormone treatments, gender affirming surgeries, body based trauma and mental health.
At the root of all my work is the belief that kind, compassionate and safe touch can help heal the physical and emotional pains of our community. No gimmicks, no sales pitches, just affirming and safe touch. I am immensely proud of my work both with my clients, and the work I do to educate and support more inclusive practices within manual therapy and healthcare for Transgender patients.
Outside of my work, I volunteer within the LGBTQ+ community for various wellbeing projects and in my spare time, I enjoy gaming, gardening and reading.
Being informed on the physical and emotional impacts of Gender Dysphoria, trauma, hormone treatments and gender affirming surgeries. This is my area of clinical and therapeutic expertise and I regularly contribute to supporting other healthcare practitioners in a variety of fields in understanding Transgender bodies and health needs.
Qualified in pathologies prevalent within the LGBTQ+ community such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility, Fibromyalgia, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome etc. I'm also experienced in working with these pathologies within a comorbidity. This is whereby an existing health issue is interacting with another to produce unique symptoms. For example, Gender Dysphoria interacting with Fibromyalgia, or a phalloplasty contributing to nerve based pathologies such as Sciatica or Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
LGBTQ+ inclusive setting and language through out our practice – pronouns, no gendered terminology, access to a gender neutral bathroom and personal; storage box for any clothing or prosthetic items you wish to keep safe during treatment.
LGBTQ+ sensitive and friendly pre-massage consultation. Before any physical treatment, we sit and discuss your body together so as to better understand what you want to get out our work together and what health issues are present. This could be anything from anxiety you are feeling connect to Gender Dysphoria, to a lower back pain following a phalloplasty procedure.
Trauma informed pre-massage consultation whereby we discuss both your physical and mental health. From here we plan out our massage together so that you are informed every step of the way, don’t have to experience massage anywhere you don’t wish to, and feel comfortable with the experience.
Clothing options. Massage can take place with the patient either in their underwear, partially clothed or with no clothes removed at all. We discuss what you feel comfortable with and plan your treatment around this.
Towel options. Similar to clothing, I’m going to give you control over towel placement: nothing has to be uncovered if you don’t want it to be.
Active use of consent through out the session. Even though we have already established what the massage will include, I will check in through out to ensure you are comfortable and let you know what I'm doing to your body and why. This is called active or affirmed consent and helps to calm your nervous system.
Awareness of touch based trauma responses. I’m going to monitor your breathing through out for any signs you are experiencing a trauma response and if this is the case, we can work together to help calm you down and help you feel safe again.