Victory

Keep Full Chest & Breast Massage Legal for Both Women & Men

This petition made change with 558 supporters!


 

BIG PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE ON THIS SITUATION SINCE I FIRST PUBLISHED THIS PETITION.  Please see the update below entitled "Big Progress! BOM updates draft of breast massage rules", dated 9/22/16.  

That said, I'm waiting to declare victory on this petition until the new rules for breast massage are adopted into Washington State law.

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The massage sessions I give as a professional massage therapist in Washington State are a blend of wellness and treatment focused massage.   To be absolutely clear: my massage sessions are non-sexual and absolutely never include genitals. 

I've given about 9,000 full-body, therapeutic massages to men and women over the past 20 years. 

WHY INCLUDE THE FULL CHEST & BREAST IN THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE?

Most of my clients, men and women alike, choose to have their full chest and breasts included in their sessions. 

In giving full chest and breast massage my flat palm and/or forearm apply firm yet gentle pressure over the entire chest and breasts without avoiding the nipple and/or areola. The intent of this massage is primarily to work with the ribcage and its muscles located deep to the breast tissue to facilitate full and easy breathing.  See a video demonstration in the link provided below.

My clients appreciate having their full chest and breast massaged because it feels wonderful to receive.  It relieves stress and tension in the throat, neck, shoulders and ribcage for both men and women and in doing so helps us breathe more easily. 

Chest and breast massage is also used to effectively treat neck, shoulder and ribcage injuries, problems associated with surgery such as breast reductions and enhancements, lumpectomies and mastectomies, lymphatic problems caused by cancer treatment, lactation difficulties, and more.

In addition, for women, having our chests and breasts massaged provides a unique nurturing refuge to experience our chests and breasts as neutral parts of our bodies, free of the sexualization which is commonly ingrained in most of us from puberty onwards. For many of us women, this opportunity to experience our breasts neutrally is truly precious.

See videos of therapeutic, full chest and breast massage:

Click here to see a video showing full chest and breast massage as I do it for my female clients. 

Click here
to see a similar video showing full chest and breast massage as I do it for both male and female clients.

Click here
 to see a  video showing full chest and breast massage within an Ayurvedic massage.  The chest portion begins at 12:45

Click here
to see a video created by Aubrey Lesicki, LMP, of Breast Remedy teaching a simple self-breast massage protocol.  The massage techniques she demonstrates in this video can also be used in massage a professional massage therapist gives to a client or patient. I use these techniques in sessions with my clients.

THE CHALLENGE  

The Washington State Board of Massage has drafted - but not yet approved - rules that would make it illegal for licensed massage professionals in Washington State to give full chest and breast massage to most men and women. 

Specifically, unless the client has a diagnosed medical condition AND also provides the massage therapist with a referral or prescription from another licensed health care provider, the rules make it illegal for us professional massage therapists in Washington State to touch the areola or nipple on either male or female clients. 

As shown in the videos linked to above, the nipple and areola are difficult or impossible to avoid with some very effective massage techniques  used to massage the chest and breasts.  Some massage practitioners using protocols from Lomilomi, Ayurvedic and Esalen massage lineages include massage of the full chest and breast, without avoiding the nipples. 

If the rules the Board of Massage has drafted become law as currently written, men and women in Washington State will no longer be able to freely receive full chest and breast massage, including that shown in the video links above, from professional massage therapists in Washington State.

Other states also have, or are considering, rules which restrict professional chest and breast massage.

ABOUT MEDICAL REFERALS vs INDEPENDENT, FREE CHOICE FOR CHEST & BREAST MASSAGE  

I believe that all adults, both male and female, should have the right to independently choose to receive full chest and breast massage from professional massage therapists for both wellness focused massage and for massage focused on treating diagnosed medical conditions. 

Members of the public should not be burdened with the financial, time, and oftentimes emotional challenges and resources involved with seeking referral or prescription from another licensed medical provider in order to obtain this valuable service. 

If the rules the Board of Massage has drafted become law as currently written, both men and women will be required to have a diagnosed medical condition AND a referral from another health care practitioner in order to receive full chest and breast massage from a professional massage therapist.

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO KEEP FULL CHEST AND BREAST MASSAGE LEGAL

Please sign this petition to join me in calling on members of the Washington State Board of Massage, as well as officials in other states who carry similar responsibilities, to draft and pass into law rules which allow full breast massage, nipple and areola included, to be provided to clients or patients with and without medically diagnosed conditions by professional massage therapists who have been professionally trained to do breast and chest massage.

 

 Thank you for your support.

 

Barbara Helynn Heard, LMP

WA #MA00009734

Seattle, Washington,

www.lomilomi-massage.org
 



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