benefits of chest & breast massage

"My 1st breast/chest massage was with Barbara Helynn Heard. Felt amazing afterwards.... I have mentioned her to clients of mine and one day when I was chatting up with a doctor friend we realized we both have had a Barbara massage and we sat there for 30 minutes chatting how much we liked it and benefited from it. If you haven't tried it, and have been thinking about it....JUST DO IT"                  

Jennifer Chan, LMT in Washington State

massage modalities which include chest & breast massage

full chest & breast massage as I do it: Click here to read a full description. 

Click here to view a 2 1/2 minute video showing full chest and breast massage as I do it. The first half shows a male receiver and the second half shows a female receiver.

Massage modalities which often include full breast and chest massage within a full body massage:

  • lomilomi
  • Ayurvedic massage
  • Eslalen massage

Lymphatic drainage is massage modality commonly used to specifically treat breast tissue issues.

Myofacial release (MFR) is a massage modality commonly used to release restrictions in tissue.  It can improve breathing and supports movement in the chest, neck and shoulders.  Massage therapist Daniel Cohen reports having successfully released breasts cysts and fibroids using MFR.

Many massage modalities include some treatment for the chest muscles while avoiding breast tissue.

benefits of full chest & breast massage
within a wellness focused massage session
which I have personally experienced

Massage of the anterior chest wall supports easy breathing. This is the most effective way I know to facilitate truly relaxed breathing. Relaxing the breath immensely contributes to reduction of tension not only in the chest, but in the full body. Tension in the throat is often very much reduced with full chest massage giving both physical and emotional benefits.

Massage and mobilization of the soft breast tissue supports circulation, which supports the overall health of the chest and breast. With no muscles of their own, breasts depend on movement to support circulation.  However, many women wear bras (i.e. most of us) which both inhibits movement of our breasts and actively constrict lymph flows. The chest can therefore greatly benefit from the lymph flow which is encouraged with this massage. 

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 ribcage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior ribcage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the ribcage 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. 

This has been my personal experience: When receiving full chest massage done with professional, neutral, totally non sexual touch I have the most amazing experience of my chest as an integrated part of my body.  I’ve received this special touch from both male and female massage therapists. In receiving full chest massage I experience a break from the many societal expectations I've lived with for the past almost 50 years since I was a teenager, and still live with. These social expectations suggest that our breasts are too big, too small, not firm enough, or otherwise problematic. I may been seen as prudish if I cover up too much and whorish if I show too much.

For me, the experience when receiving full chest/breast massage done skillfully to treat my entire chest as just another part of my body is the experience of being good enough just the way I am. I feel my “inner light”, my sense of my own goodness.  It's totally amazing! I feel my inner and outer beauty, just the way I am. It's powerful and precious to me.

I do not get the same powerful experience of feeling my own goodness when a massage therapist carefully works origins and insertions of muscles while carefully avoiding the "off limits" parts of my breasts. That said, I do experience some orthopedic benefits for my chest, shoulders and neck from partial chest massage.


Receiving breast massage can provide women an opportunity to develop a sense of normalcy, confidence and control related to touch for their breasts. This can be especially powerful for women with traumatic history.

Receiving breast massage helps maintain good posture by reducing tension in the chest and thereby leading to more open chest position.

Receiving breast massage can relieve PMS and cyclical related pain and tenderness in the breasts. 
This can be a welcome relief for many women.

Helping women become more comfortable touching our own breasts is an important benefit of massaging breast tissue as a normal part of the body within a wellness massage. Receiving professionally given massage of our breasts can help us women become more comfortable doing our own breasts exams.

Massage can support women who are pregnant, nursing or breastfeeding in many ways:
  • reduce discomfort
  • improve skin tone
  • increased breast milk production
  • relieve the discomfort of engorgement
  • unblock plugged milk glands
  • increase drainage during breast feeding
  • decrease appearance of scars and stretch marks

Reducing our chances of developing breast cancer by supporting healthy circulation is thought to be a benefit of breast massage. Many people believe there is is a correlation between chronic poor breast drainage and susceptibility to malignancy.

Massage therapists experienced in massaging breasts may help women pick up breast tissue changes which may need medical follow-up. We may have the opportunity to provide life saving recommendations for our clients to follow up with doctors.

Massaging the breasts can help women prepare for breast surgery.  Within a full body massage I once massaged the breasts of a woman who was scheduled to have a lumpectomy the following day which was eventually followed by radiation treatment.  She later told me that the breast massage she received from me greatly helped her stay centered and calm during the course of receiving medical treatment for breast massage.

Receiving breast massage can help women recover from bruising, scarring, nerve irritation and movement restriction which occur as a result of injury or surgeries.  Massage can help with healing from surgeries such as biopsies, lumpectomies, mastectomies,  breast reductions and  breast augmentations.   Massage of the breast and chest tissue can often relieve pain and irritation and help the client receiver regain movement.

Lymphatic drainage breast massage is used to treat and manage swelling, including that caused by lymphedema.


Breast & Chest  Massage 
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