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Article du mois
Article of the month



By: Jocelyn Vincent, translated by CATCM's team

It occasionally happens, that clients call at the association to know if it is normal that their massage therapist lays bare their chest at the time of the massage.   This question puts itself a lot more rarely in the case of male clients, since as in general, in the North American culture, it is normal for a man to undress his chest what is not the case for the women.   I thus centered this article for the women, although the benefits and the reasons of such practice is valid for the two genders.

Before answering the question: " Is It normal?" , the question should initially be raised : " Which type of massage was lavished" .  

It completely normal, in certain massages techniques, to uncover the pectorals of its client.   Each massage therapist, according to his formation, according to the philosophy of the school where he studied will favor or not pectorals massage.  

When I talk about the pectoral, I talk about the muscle and not about the breasts.   It is true that for the ordinary people the pectoral is synonymous of breasts, but for the professional massage therapist, the pectoral is the muscle that finds its attach on the collarbone, at the junction of the coasts and sternum and as last attaches, the bicipital groove of the humerus.   At the time of the massage of the pectoral, one avoids touching the nipple.   The massage is mainly centered on those three attach.  

As you can see on the picture, the pectoral is a muscle that forms a triangle that covers the superior party of the thorax.  

Why is it important to massage the pectoral?
To keep its balance, the body must constantly counterbalance its musculature in order to compensate the overload of certain muscles.  

Thus, if a tension develops in the back, the body will make up by contracting the muscles located on the former face (in front) of the body in order to balance the forces.   Same thing if a tension develops on the right side, the muscles of the left side will react while contracting itself in their turn.   This is what we call the compensation.  

You may already have understood why the massage of the pectoral is important!   Most people who consult have tensions at the shoulders and back level.   Indirectly, and without realizing it, their body developed compensations by creating equivalents tensions on the front face of the body.  

The simple fact to massaging the back cannot bring, alone, a complete relaxation.   In fact, once the massage is finished, to compensate for the tensions now concentrated on the level of the pectoral, the body will send a signal to the brain to reestablish the tensions at the level of the back in order to rebalance the forces.   We are in a vicious circle.  

It would not be necessary to believe, for all that, that the massage of the pectoral is an absolute necessity.   That simply means that the effect of the massage will persist less longer and that one will need some more sessions to achieve the same result.  

Make the difference between breasts massage and the massage of the pectoral.
There is indeed a technique of massage intended for the massage of the breast properly says.   I do not speak anymore here, uniquely massage of the pectoral, but equally massage of the mammary gland to itself and that included the nipple.   According to certain authors, this massage type can favor a better health of the breast, but this is not the target of this article.  

This technique is not very developed in Canada.   It is especially practiced in Europe.   Few schools offer this technique and this massage type remains marginal.  

The massage of the pectoral at all cost?
Although the massage of the pectoral is beneficial, nothing is worth the comfort and the self-respect.  

As I always say to my clients: " That's best a less complete massage... relaxed, than a complete massage where the person is anxious to the idea to lay bare his chest"  

The therapist should always inform his client of the course of the massage and to explain how he will proceed.   The massage therapist being a human being, it can happen that he forgets to do it because of the very limited time that it has to complete the health report.   This oblivion is much more running in the centers where the therapist works under pressure to meet the delays imposed by this type of environment.  

Remains the fact that you are master of your body and that you have the right to accept, to refuse and even to change opinions along the way.  

In conclusion, remember that a professional massage therapist would have:

  • To inform you on the course of the massage
  • Ask your agreement to massaging your pectorals
  • To respect your choice without insisting and without judging
  • Always remember that the more important person, it's you!  

Jocelyn Vincent is a massage therapist and president of the ACTMD





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