Why We Focus on Deep Breaths in the Massage Room

July 30, 2013
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Breathing is just something that we all do each minute of every day since we were born, approximately 8-14 breaths per minute. Wow! That is a lot of breathing and something we don’t even have to think about. So why would we ask you to become more conscious of your breathe in the massage room? Did you know that most of us practice shallow breathing? Shallow breathing is where we just fill the top part of the lungs and can actually increase our levels of stress and anxiety. Visiting Asian cultures I’ve often been told how bad American’s are at breathing. I found that to be an interesting comment and decided to ask questions and do some research into why that might be.

It seems to start with what American culture finds attractive.  Our culture wants to see men and women with flat stomachs; therefore, we tend to hold our abdominal muscles in, forcing our diaphragm to have little room to expand to help fill the lungs with oxygen. I believe you can have a great shaped body, still practice deep breathing and get your body, mind and tissues all what they need: OXYGEN!

When you come in for a massage, usually the first thing the therapist asks you to do is take a few deep breaths. It is amazing to me how many people do short inhales and exhales and voila they are relaxed. Sound like anyone you know? The first thing to do is count. Breathe in for three and out for three. Feel your belly expand and visualize the lobes of your lungs, start to fill the lower lobes first and then the upper lobes. Hold your breath for three then exhale slowly and evenly. This is the start to helping you get settled and relaxed for your massage.

Now that you are relaxed we are able to work on your tissues and find those oh so good spots. However, when we find these spots it tends to stimulate your fight and flight response. Once we see this happening we instantly are talking with you about getting your focus back on your breath. Sometimes we may even talk about emotions that you could be feeling connected to this spot that we are massaging. This is a great way to let go of a pattern of emotional and physical pain that often plagues many of us.  Our goal is to never cause pain during the massage. It can be important to help you connect the mind and the body when it comes to areas of pain. Focusing on the mind/body connection in our tissues and our nervous system, can help to reset the nervous system, providing you with a calmer mind and pain free in your physical body. Healing your body of physical and emotional pain is all done by you and we as massage therapists are here to help create a safe and secure environment guiding you through your healing process.

Just let us know what you want out of your massage session and we will do our best to put you with the right therapist to address those needs.

Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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