Body Positive Portland Massage Therapist

Arwyn Daemyir, LMT #18250
Hello, and thanks for wanting to know more about me!

I'm a massage therapist, a writer, an activist, a gardener, a parent, a lifemate twice over, a second parent, and a long-distance sibling. I love laughing, geeky TV and books (yes, I am named after the Tolkien character, no, I've never resented it), cooking, learning, and I love, love, love massage.

I’ve been massaging my friends since I could get them to lie down long enough on my parents’ couch at sleepovers. I considered massage school when my first attempt at college failed, but my partner and mother talked me out of it at the time. Several years, and several years’ practice receiving massage later, and I was determined, and would not have been deterred even if they had repeated their earlier error.

I’m known for the presence I bring to my sessions. I give a great massage, but I’m not particularly interested in intensive injury treatment or overly complex techniques. Neither am I superficial, but I believe the real value in massage is twofold: first, simply “touching pain” -- having someone else be able to bring a new sensation to the area of pain, even if it’s deep in our bodies, to be able to hold it and say yes, this hurts, I know; it’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to let go, when you're ready. That can be profound for the movement, sensation, and function of the tissue, but -- and here’s what made me fall in love with massage -- the effect on the whole person of that touch, that holding, that compassion communicated from one body to another, is unparalleled. When the pain that’s been in our ankles is touched, is to some degree released or relieved even if not completely, when we realize that yes, it is real, and yes, it hurts, and yes, it’s okay to hate it, to be angry, to want to hide from it, that it’s ALL allowed, even if only in this one hour a month -- when that happens, WE change. Our relationship to our bodies, which is to say our relationship with ourselves, changes. We carry that compassion from the massage into our daily lives, more and more, and the ripples of that don’t just affect our ankles, don’t just affect our pain levels, but affect our mood, our self-conception, our desire and willingness and ability to live. That’s what I do in massage, and why I adore this job above any other.

Much of my post-school training has been around communication, cultural competency, trauma, and the embodied experience of pain, and my challenge and joy has been to synthesize this knowledge and these skills with the work we do on the table. I also have interests in Feldenkrais style movements and bring that approach into our work and the ways you can improve your own experience of your body both on and off the table. I never prescribe exercises, but I often offer, when you've indicated interest, movements or practices you can take home to explore and expand your own comfortable activity. So while it's not, as I say above, my primary goal, we often are able to effect significant changes in your pain levels, range of movement, and relationship to injuries whether recent or older.

I was asked once "who wouldn't want to work with you?" Which was well-meant, but the answer is, many people:
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you don’t want to get into your body.
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you associate aromatherapy with great massage, and can’t relax in a room without scents.
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you just want an hour of oily luxury (though “just let me be here and not have to do anything; just take care of me; just help me relax” are absolutely awesome session goals, and I work with those all the time).
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if fatness freaks you out, if you’ve bought into the cultural lie that all things bad emanate from adipose tissue.
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you don’t like to laugh.
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you queer families unnerve you.
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if you’re just trying to recover from a motor vehicle accident and don’t like the idea of massage but your insurance is paying for it so whatever (though I now DO bill for auto accidents, and will share the frustration and gratitude that for some people, after a car accident is the only time you can get as much massage as you need).
  • You probably don’t want to work with me if forming a relationship with the LMT giving you a massage scares you -- I’m all about boundaries, but I’m also all about relationship and getting to know you and your needs and your body.
  • You really don’t want to work with me if you want a “h@ppy ending”, because I will end the session and blacklist you, not because being mistaken for a s3x worker is an insult (it isn't) but because that is not my job and it’s not acceptable for you to even hint at asking for it to be.
  • And you probably don’t want to work with me if you just want to get in and out in under an hour; I book 90 minutes in the room, minimum (except for pediatric massage), because that’s what it takes to hold the space for our communication, for your pain and discomfort, for your relationship with your body, for healing, for wholeness, for you.
If that doesn't describe you, then you probably do want to work with me -- and I definitely want to work with you.