What All Men Need to Improve Their Love Lives and Health

June is Men’s Health Month. It is a time for men and their families to take stock of their health and well-being. At MenAlive, we have been helping men and their families to improve their health for more than fifty years, but we still have a long way to go. According to Healthy Men, Inc.:

  • Men have higher death rates from nine of the ten leading causes of death in the US.
  • Men are 40% more likely than women to die of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, and twice as likely to die of liver disease.
  • Men account for 75% of suicides, 70% of opiate-related deaths, and over 90% of workplace deaths.
  • Only 18% of men say they would “seek care as soon as possible,” even for painful conditions, and 24% say they would “wait as long as possible.”

Healthy Men Inc. works to enhance the comprehensive health and welfare of all men, boys, and their families by actively engaging them in the healthcare system. They have a new program that can help men and their families that I highly recommend. They offer the first and only comprehensive course that focuses on boys’ and men’s unique health needs and challenges by enhancing “guy-friendly” communication skills. I have taken the comprehensive course and learned a great deal.

            You can learn about the course here. Completing the course allows you to become a Certified Men’s Health Educator. The training program is designed by men’s health experts and is available to healthcare professionals in any discipline, health educators, primary care practice providers and staff, faith-based organization leaders, teachers and social service providers, coaches, community leaders and anyone in the community who is passionate about helping boys, men, their families and supportive loved-ones achieve true health and wellness and reimagining the healthcare system and programs in a Guy-Friendly way.

MaLe Corona: Gender-Specific Bodymind Healer

            One of the things that has become evident in the field of men’s health is that too many men have become disconnected from themselves and others. According to MaLe Corona, Founder and Director of MaleWholeness.com,

“Body-oriented practices shape our sense of wholeness.”

MaLe is a gender-specific bodymind healer and a trauma-informed somatic coach for men.

            I’ve known MaLe’s work for a number of years and she has a unique approach for working with men. She quotes Bessel van der Kolk, the eminent psychiatrist and healer, and author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

“One of the clearest lessons from contemporary neuroscience is that our sense of ourselves is anchored in a vital connection with our bodies. We do not truly know ourselves unless we can feel and interpret our physical sensations; we need to register and act on these sensations to navigate safely through life.”

            One of the things I’ve learned as a member of the male gender and a healer of men for more than fifty years is that men need help and support to get in touch with our bodies, minds, and spirits. MaLe offers a unique program she describes as “Visceral Self-Awareness for Male-Identified BodyMinds.” She leads weekly online men’s group gatherings to restore your somatic nervous system, enhance the quality of your presence and practice embodied relating.

MaLe is also a founding member our Moonshot for Mankind and Humanity and featured in the forthcoming book, Long Live Men! The Moonshot Mission to Heal Men, Close the Lifespan Gap, and Offer Hope to Humanity.  Here’s what she shared about her life and work in the book:

“Biologically, I was born a female; psychologically, it wasn’t until I turned thirty that I could finally start to embrace my femaleness. Now, it is clear to me that having been raised immersed in the context of a machista Mexican culture, while also being surrounded by flashes of influence from the women’s empowerment movement slowly rising to its crescendo, were all sources of mixed messages that caused me to experience profound gender identity issues as I was growing up.

“During my childhood, I had the impression that being male was easier, much more fun, and way more advantageous than being a female. Unconsciously, I promised myself I’d never become a submissive woman like my mother and to never let any man dominate and devalue me as I saw my father do with my mom. At such a tender age, it seemed that the only way I was going to be able to avoid such miserable fates was through slaughtering the disempowered girl in me and learning how to grow up as an almighty boy instead.

“By the time I became a teenager, part of me was ready to publicly claim my identity as a trans male, while another part of me felt scared and ashamed due to experiences of bullying from peers, my own father’s disparaging rage, and a group of homophobic teachers advocating for me to be expelled from the all-girl Catholic school I was attending after they all found out I had a romantic relationship with a young lady in my class.

“At some point, the levels of physical and emotional pain I was enduring due to my looking like a freak in other people’s eyes became excruciating, and the only way to endure them, at least until I finished high school, seemed to be opting for a more silent and secret life.

“My sense of personal worth started depending on how much I excelled intellectually and how well I disconnected from my emotional needs. A few years later, I managed to become an honor roll university student in the mornings while keeping a consistent employee-of-the-month record in my afternoon job and transforming into a party animal who used women and alcohol to numb myself down several nights a week. I seemed to have figured out how to have it all together, but little did I know that my late twenties would bring with them a physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual collapse.

“At the time, I had achieved everything I was told I needed to succeed in life—I was covering a top position at a marketing company, traveling abroad to renowned conferences; I had my own apartment, car, and cutting-edge gadgets, along with active loans and a decent amount of savings in the bank—yet I felt empty, mentally, and physically ill and extremely lonely. All of a sudden, along with my health, everything I relied on to sustain my image of the “perfect life” started to fall apart. I was extremely overweight, lost my high-end job, got ditched by my partner at the time, and even my dog died.

“Eventually, I went bankrupt as well. It was obvious that I had hit rock bottom as neither my work addiction nor my superficial social life nor my substance abuse were doing the trick anymore. My constant panic attacks, the soreness in my body, and the acute depression I was experiencing forced me to look at myself again after so many years of just reaching outward for the next achievement and the next adrenaline hit only to find that behind my apparent mask of success, I was physically ill, mentally and emotionally trapped in addictive patterns that were only making me more and more depressed. And spiritually, I didn’t have the slightest clue about who I really was or what life meant to me.”

But MaLe continued her inner work and healing and like many wounded healers has come through to the other side and can now offer her experiences and expertise to others. She offers these concluding remarks from the book.

“Something that all the steps I’ve taken to heal share in common is the body-mind-spirit connection. Through connecting the mind to the body, we are able to access an inner source of wisdom that can become our GPS in life—some call it our soul; others just call it intuition. Through the practice of embodiment, we can get a felt sense of who we are and what most matters to us. Additionally, by connecting with our bodies in a mindful way, we inherently learn how to connect with other bodies and the earth’s larger body in respectful and co-creative ways. In my experience, it is through getting to know ourselves that we get to know our place in the cosmos.”

To learn more about MaLe and her work, you can visit her at MaleWholeness.

The post What All Men Need to Improve Their Love Lives and Health appeared first on MenAlive.

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