Like massage, breema bodywork incorporates various forms of touch and movement. But massage and breema differ first in their philosophies and purpose. Massage’s starting point is the supposition that a client’s body has a problem that needs healing. Breema bodywork, on the other hand, does not start off assuming that a problem exists. Instead, it aims to balance a client’s energy, creating harmony between the body and mind.
There are two parts to breema. The first is breema bodywork — where a breema practitioner works with the client's body. The second is known as self-breema — exercises conducted by oneself. Both parts aim to relax the person, releasing any emotional, mental and physical tension. Other benefits of breema bodywork includes increased flexibility, awareness of one's own energy, and well-being.
Unlike some types of massage where the client disrobes, in a breema bodywork session the client does not remove any clothing. The session is conducted fully dressed. Still, no special clothing or equipment is needed for a breema bodywork session. The client is placed on a mat on the floor and the therapist conducts the session by putting the client’s body through a series of gentle movements and stretches.
The practitioner doesn't use muscular force to stretch the client's body; rather, the practitioner uses his or her own body weight to pull or press on the client's body in different directions. Possible positions that the client may be placed in are numerous. The client might be sitting or laying on his or her back or side. The client's legs may be outstretched, bent or they may be placed over one shoulder of the practitioner as the practitioner holds the clients hands and leans back.
The exercises in breema are based on nine principles of harmony:
- Comfort — the exercises should never be uncomfortable.
- Firmness and gentleness — these are the characteristics of the exercises.
- No force — the movements and exercises do not use force in any way.
- Mutual support — a simultaneous giving and receiving.
- Non-judgmental atmosphere — the goal is for the client to feel comfortable and accept himself as he is.
- Full participation — the client is an active partner, engaging both his or her mind and body.
- No hurry and no pause — the movements are not rushed, but at the same time there isn't a time gap between the various exercises and motions.
- No extras — all that is required is for the client to be in the present moment, with a goal of expressing his true self.
- Individual moment — each movement or activity is a complete expression of our nature.
The nine principles of harmony also apply to self-breema exercises, and just like breema bodywork, self-breema exercises should never be uncomfortable. The goal of the movements is not to strain, but to bring your various facets into harmony.
A breema session usually lasts between a half hour to an hour. During the session, the practitioner is always touching the client in some way, and when the contact is broken, the session is complete.