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Breema Bodywork: Reconnecting With Vitality

The rhythmic movement sequences of Breema bodywork release tension, help improve physical health, and increase vitality by enhancing the flow of life energy. You can experience this bodywork in two ways: from a practitioner or as self-help exercises.

If you receive sessions from a practitioner, you generally lie, comfortably clothed, on a padded floor, while the practitioner uses one of the thousands of treatment sequences.

Each sequence consists of harmonious movements that include gentle, yet penetrating, stretches; gradual leaning movements; percussive tapping; and rhythmic brushing.

Breema Bodywork Book by Jon Schreiber

The benefits of Breema include:

  • Releasing pain and tension
  • Supporting the body's own natural healing process
  • Improving the function of internal organs, immune system, and nervous system
  • Gently realigning the spine and joints
  • Improving flexibility
  • Creating deep physical relaxation
  • Creating a deeper connection to the body and its signals

History of Breema

Breema bodywork developed in the Kurdish village of Breemava over hundreds of years, passed down orally from generation to generation. Around 1980, Malichek Mooshan, who had learned the bodywork in the village from his great-grandfather, introduced it in the United States. Mooshan founded the Institute for Health Improvement, which later became The Breema Center, in Oakland, California.

One of Mooshan's early students was Jon Schreiber, DC, who at the time was a chiropractic student, and who later become director of The Breema Center. Schreiber wrote in a February/March 1999 article in Massage & Bodywork that after he set up his chiropractic practice, it naturally evolved into the first Breema clinic.

Breema Bodywork Principles

Although some of the movements resemble other styles of bodywork or massage, what distinguishes Breema are the following nine principles, described in detail in the accompanying video:

  • Body comfortable
  • No judgment
  • No extra
  • Full participation
  • Firmness and gentleness
  • No hurry, no pause
  • No force
  • Mutual support
  • Single moment, single activity

In a natural, healthy state, body, mind, and feelings work together. Blocked energy in any area of the body, mind, and feelings leads to an experience of disharmony, which often leads to disease (or a lack of vitality). As the supportive atmosphere of a Breema session relaxes and comforts your body, you release mental and emotional blockages.

The Practitioner's Viewpoint

From the practitioner's viewpoint, Breema is non-diagnostic and non-judgmental — it doesn't see problems in the receiver — it doesn't try to "fix" anyone. Schreiber wrote in his 1999 article, "If you touch someone as if they're sick, though their body may be imbalanced, you're touching only a small part of them… Your aim is to increase vitality, not to fight sickness. Your aim is to give a non-judgmental treatment."

Breema practitioners focus on the experience in their bodies and their own comfort first, and by doing so, are able to give the receivers exactly what they need. The practitioner's energy field meets the receiver's energy field, strengthening the flow of energy in both. For this reason, this system of bodywork is as nurturing to the practitioner as it is to the receiver.

Benefits to the practitioner include:

  • Creating less tension in the body
  • Supporting greater flexibility and dexterity
  • Developing the ability to touch receptively and with firmness and gentleness
  • Growing a receptivity to the instinctive wisdom of the body

Find a Breema practitioner.

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