Body Image Issues
First off, issues regarding body image seem to be almost universal. Everyone is bombarded with negative messaging regarding looks and personal worth. For sure, these messages of shame or guilt drive home the point that “you’re not good enough”. In fact, it’s big business creating and spinning the myth of perfection. For instance, simply consider the sheer volume of sexism used in advertising.
In addition, consider the influence of the internet and social media. There is a lot of “addictive designing” within these platforms. Online behaviors are being statistically analyzed for information. Integrating this information into algorithms, fine tunes the manipulating and marketing power of advertising. For further insights, consider listening to this CBC podcast.
Besides negative messaging, we live in a world where many experience traumatic life events. To be sure, abuse of any sort, major accidents or illnesses end up creating pain and emotional baggage. No matter the source, emotional baggage ends up altering self perception, thus creating unhealthy coping skills or addictions.
For instance, issues with food such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or binge drinking are very common. Further behaviors may include compulsively exercising, using drugs and/or even multiple surgeries to alter and improve appearance.
Body Image Statistics
In short, it’s estimated that between 80% to 90% of women in Canada are unhappy with their appearance. Consider other online resources like the Dove Women’s Body Image Study 2016 and 11 Facts about Body Image.
There is a lag in statistics, but recent research suggests 1 in 4 boys and men experience body image issues and eating disorders.
Health Canada doesn’t officially track plastic surgery statistics. Canadian statistics are based on the assumption that US demographics and lifestyles are similar to Canada. If that’s true, then breast augmentation continues to be the top plastic surgery since 2006.
Indeed, it would appear that augmentation is being used more and more in counteracting the internalized negative messaging regarding having “imperfect” breasts. As with any surgery, augmentation is a risky option directly impacting breast health.
Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction
Finally, there is no shortage of negative messaging regarding the pelvis and it’s many functions. The muscles and bones of the pelvis are like the foundation under a house. A foundation stabilizes and holds up the structure. Besides structural support, the pelvis is the “emotional core”. In addition, it controls bladder, bowel and sexual functions for everyone.
Like body image, continually receiving shame based messaging regarding menstruation, incontinence or reproductive health, creates a skewed perspective. Believing that something is”wrong” with normal body functions creates dysfunction.
Dysfunction means poor or incorrect functioning. Some researchers believe that emotions are causing up to 95% of physical symptoms.
Healing Body Image Issues
First and foremost, it takes time and effort for healing the issues creating a negative body image. Learning and educating yourself about healthy options is a necessity. The healing approaches of Eastern and Western medicine are completely different. Understanding the benefits and limitations allows the best of both worlds to be utilized.
Furthermore, body image issues tend to arise from some sort of abuse or trauma history. Releasing the emotional baggage takes time and requires establishing a safe support network. It’s STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for clients with any sort of trauma history to be receiving counseling when receiving body therapy or energy medicine services from Agape Therapeutic. This ensures optimal safety and support during the healing process.