Working with the breath during massage therapy brings the most amazing results.
Oftentimes our focus for both therapist and client can be placed on the particular massage technique, attending to the nature of the pressure being used or the relationship with the ‘knot’ or adhesion. Great results are achieved by working into the tissues and facia with a variety of pressure. We can apply ﬁngers, thumbs, knuckles and elbows as we vary the pressure to open up the tissues of the body and reach the tense muscles below. However, in my own experience, if we aren’t in tune with and respecting the breath then our labours can be in vain and we watch the client walk out of the room as tense as when they came in.
I love to help my clients archive the very best results by both focusing on the gift of the breath and then using it to its optimal potential.
As soon as someone arrives in my treatment room for their pre massage assessment, I am noticing how their breath is doing. When my clients are breathing from the belly, their faces and bodies appear quite relaxed. When we are breathing in a shallow way, we often look tense in our faces and our bodies are showing the tension too.
During the massage treatment, especially in the midst of a Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, Remedial Massage and more clinical Sports Therapy, I ﬁnd it essential to work with the breath. Healthy breath- work during the treatment increases blood ﬂow, aids the lymphatic system and promotes and encourages organ detox. It is well known by health professionals across the board that deep breathing lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, decreases stress and tension. Good breath is essential to the sympathetic and
parasympathetic nervous system. The rest and digest system within the body is optimised through healthy breathing and generally gives a feel- good factor in everyday life.
My experience shows me more and more that magic unfolds in the clinic when I am able to help my clients to relax and balance their breathing. A very good sign is when the tummy begins to gurgle. It indicates that relaxation has occurred and the digestive system has kicked in (it is thwarted when we are stressed and switches oﬀ in the ﬁght-ﬂight mode). We owe it to ourselves to remain as relaxed as possible.
It is not always hard pressure and therapeutic manoeuvres that release the built up tension, causing aches and pains, but the breath that frees us. I often see that when my client suddenly sighs and relaxes that the built up stress melts away and the musculature is softer and their is an improved range of movement for the limbs to help in sport and everyday activity.
So, my friends, my best advice is “Breathe”.
By the way, I also run meditation classes to help in this area and you will ﬁnd details on this website.
If you would like to know more about how to optimise your breath, please get in touch