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Getting back to TOUCH

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

COVID-19 has had a huge effect on all our lives. For me, as a wellness provider it has been a long and strange journey. Like so many of us I went from having a thriving and growing practice, both as a therapist and mens massage instructor to being closed down in the course of one week. 15 years of work came to an abrupt end.


As some of you know I am also an artist. It was art that lead me to bodywork many years ago. When all was closed and I returned home I found comfort in my studio. There I found a space to channel my energy and feelings about this crazy time. I painted, and painted, and painted, I walked alone in the woods and I painted some more. I spent 6 months being an artist alone with my husband, my dogs my thoughts and my brushes. As the days passed into weeks, and the weeks into months I did not know where massage and body work would surface again, or even if it would, or even if I wanted it to. Touch became something hard for even me to imagine. I was alone with simply my energy for the first time in years. Bodywork is special in that it mixes and mingles ones energy with the energy of the people one works with. This has always, for me, been the factor of what makes someone able or unable to do this kind of work. The people who thrive on blending with others do well, the others stop practicing.


After the shock of it all wore off I began to sense the energy exchange I was missing with people was now manifesting in my art. My paintings became a safe space for me to rest and recover in. I had never in my life had so much time to simply create. COVID with all its problems had a special flip side for me. The yin and yang as all things do..... As the world came crashing to a stop, causing immense hardship for so many, I was devastated by the loss of my practice yet, I was blessed with a husband who did not lose his job, and even though my hands on work had ended I was healthy and given the gift of space and time.


2020 was my first summer to be alone, heal, think, play, eat, cook, garden, decorate, paint, draw, feel sadness, feel anger, feel frustration, feel love, feel loss, feel confusion, channel personal, political, superficial and systemic pain and joy. I looked and grew and painted, I listened and grew and painted, I supported and grew and painted, I focused and grew and painted, I held on to the one thing i know as truth, creativity to move me forward.


In late June as the country was beginning to reopen and navigate the new normal, massage and bodywork practitioners were given the green light to reopen. I took note and watched as friends and colleagues began to work out how our touch could return. I spent July and August in deep contemplation. Do I return or do I move forward into something else completely. Maybe the dream of being a selling artist was next... Maybe a return to design....Maybe a chef.....Graduate School.......


Then one day as I sat on one of my favorite rocks in the woods, deep in a sea of late summer green energy, I realized what I missed most was connecting with the men of my community, I longed for the exchange that only touch can create. I took a deep breath and texted my old landlord. We worked out a deal and BRLMT / IN TOUCH MEN was back in business! COVID PROTOCOLS are now in place and my beautiful healing studio is open once again.


As we all must do our parts, masks on.... to navigate these crazy times, I hope you will consider how a return to SAFE, CONSCIOUS, TOUCH may help you along the way.


Please reach out with any questions.

Also, some of the paintings for you to enjoy, THEY ARE FOR SALE....BIG, but who doesn't like a big well hung work of art....



4ft x 4 ft acrylic on wood By Brian Riley 2020


4ft x 4ft acrylic on wood By Brian Riley 2020

4ft x 4 ft acrylic on wood By Brian Riley 2020

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