Sunday, April 13, 2014

Paced Breathing Massage

We recently heard from a user who told us she uses Paced Breathing when she gives massages.  In this post we're going to cover how you can easily incorporate Paced Breathing into a massage to enhance relaxation for your massage partner.  The concept is quite simple: your massage strokes go in rhythm with the breathing of your massage partner.

First off, make sure you have a quiet and comfortable setting.  It also helps if you have massage oils or lubricants.

We're going to teach you about the most basic massage stroke called the effleurage.  Effleurage is a French word meaning "to skim" or "to touch lightly on".  This stroke is used heavily at the beginning and end of a massage because it helps keep the entire back warm and helps the masseuse spread massage oils over the back.

If you are standing, to perform a basic effleurage start from the top of the back, near the shoulders, and stroke down with both hands until you get to the small of the back.  If you are on top of your partner, start from the small of the back and stroke up to their shoulders.  Once you finish the stroke, slide your hands back to your starting position down the sides of the back and repeat.  Start gently and apply more pressure with each stroke, but be sure not to over do it.  Here is a short youtube tutorial showing you how to perform this technique.

To incorporate Paced Breathing, tell your massage partner to inhale when your hands are sliding down the sides of their back, and exhale when your hands are effleuraging over their back.  We've set Paced Breathing to a 3:00 minute timer, 2:00 minute ramp, starting from 3-1-3-1 (inhale-hold-exhale-hold), and ending at 5-1.5-5-1.5, but you should experiment to see what works best for you and your partner.  Make sure the sound and vibration features are off to avoid creating distractions; just watch the screen to time your massage strokes.

This same concept can be used with other massage strokes to greatly enhance a massage.  You can find more tutorials (with video) on a variety of massage strokes here.

-Breathe Easy

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