updated 10/2017 with resources
This post is dedicated to a friend and fellow therapist, Barbara Heard, who has had the passion and dedication and courage to lead the way to normalize full chest and breast massage, de-sexulize it and make or keep this work legal in her state, and other states, Her mission is to properly educates the public, therapists and public officials about why this work is important. First and foremost, what is full chest and breast massage? It is not sexual, in fact it is exactly the opposite,
When receiving full chest massage done with professional, neutral, totally non sexual touch one has the most amazing holistic experience of feeling their chest as an integrated part of their body. Full chest massage on men is very common but discouraged or assumed to be sexualized on women, in America mostly,
Massage of the anterior chest wall is effective treatment for injuries to the chest, shoulders and neck. Full chest massage with pressure applied to the muscles deep to the breast tissue with consistent firm flow over the rib cage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior rib cage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the rib cage so that it gives better support to the shoulders and neck, which relieves tension and discomfort in these areas and assists in treating neck and shoulder injuries.
Massage of the anterior chest wall and breasts facilitates experiencing one's breasts as a normal and natural part of our bodies.
By encouraging easy breathing, releasing tension in the muscles and bones located in the chest, and encouraging healthy flow of blood and lymph, chest and breast massage can support overall physical wellness, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual well being. It is effective as part of treatment protocol for shoulder and neck injuries.
Breast massage with a treatment focus
Breast massage can also effectively treat conditions such as scar tissue, lymphedema and other cancer related issues, recovery from mastectomy, recovery from breast reduction or breast augmentation procedures, problems with lactation, and swelling related to cycles.
Reclaiming an often lost natural connection to parts of the body
Informed Consent / Supporting public safety: You always have the right and the responsibility to direct any therapist not to massage any part of your body which you prefer to be avoided. The informed consent protocol designed by Barbara includes a full detailed explanation and written detailed consent. This is designed to support public safely by preventing incidents in which clients receive unwanted touch. It is not universal, as not all states allow for this work, but where it is legal, the protocol should be applauded and adopted. It removes shame, keeps the client in control and promulgates the idea that the human body is normal, in all shapes and sizes.
For more information on Barbara's work click here
For a European perspective click here
Interested in learning more? Check out these resources
Chest & Breast Massage Resources
online articles & websites
Breast Wellness: article by Debra Curties, published in 2003 in ABMP magazine. ~ Debra Curties is a well respected author in the field of breast massage education. She is the author of the book entitled Breast Massage. Debra lives and works in Canada.
Breast Massage: article by Kellum Johnson ~ how to do breast massage, along with some insightful comments. Kellum Johnson is a massage therapist licensed in Texas.
Breast Massage Therapy: information on website of Tony Ruggeiro in Texas ~ summary of benefits of breast massage, and more. Tony Ruggeiro is a massage therapist in Greensville, South Carolina
Breast Massage Good for Mothers Before and After Delivery: article by Phyllis Hanlon, published in 2013 in Massage Magazine. Phyllis Hanlon is a professional author and frequent contributor of articles in Massage Magazine.
Breast Massage from a Massage Therapist: Have you considered it?: article by Pam Fitchner in WHOlife, Wholeness & Wellness Journal of Saskatchewan, Canada. Pam Fitchner is a massage therapist in Saskatoon, Canada. She also facilitates workshops on breast and belly and complementary health.
A series of blogs articles on breast care and massage: article by Aristide M. LaVey in the Massagewallah blog. Aristide M. LaVey is a massage therapist who practices in Los Angeles, CA.
Breast Massage: on the Brink of Understanding? article by Karrie Mowen (Osborn) in the ABMP website, first published in 2001. Karrie Mowen is/was a contributing editor of the ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Female Breast Massage for Better Health: article by Nancy L. Ring on an ABMP supported website, published in 2009. Nancy L. Ring is a massage therapist in Cornell, Michigan.
Desexualizing the Touch Experience – A Proactive Approach: article by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, published in Massage Today. Cherie Sohnen-Moe is a highly respected massage therapy educator.
Innate Traditions, postpartum care: an organization offering training on postpartum care for women, a holistic system of care which honors women's physiological design. Rachelle Garcia Seliga’s work is dedicated to midwifing a cultural shift that honors innate wisdom, personal authority and the sanctity of Life.
Breastnotes.com: BreastNotes.com was created to help people to understand the breast: its development and growth patterns, its function and purpose, its role in various societies, its care, and its problems. It has information about going without a bra, health practices, cancer and lots more. One could spend days reading this fascinating website!
Post Surgical Therapy for Mastectomy and Implants an article by Paul Lewis on the Massage Therapy Canada website.
The Happy Breast Book by Cheryl Chapman
Breast Massage by Debra Curties
Therapeutic Breast Massage 1hour 48 minute DVD by Meade Steadman, published by Aesthetic Video Source.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 2+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for both men and women.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 3+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for women.
Abhyanga Ayurvedic Massage: this 2+ minute video introduces a full body Ayurvedic massage which integrates the full chest into the treatment.
Ayurvedic Massage at Indian Spa: This video shows the chest and abdomen being massaged as an integrated whole starting at 12:45.
Breast Self Massage In this brief, how-to video, Aubrey Lesicki, BS, LMT, teaches the PHAST technique of breast self-massage. The PHAST breast self-massage technique is a quick, simple way to manage your breast care, improving breast circulation as well as the quality of the tissue texture.
Phluff Your Girls and the Happy Breast Book with Cheryl Chapman: Cheryl Chapman is a breast health advocate & teacher & lectures on breast health nationally.
short video showing movement of diaphragm a YouTube video
Video showing full Breast Massage
Another Video showing full Breast Massage
This article was written from and excerpts taken with permission from Barbara Heard
A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.