The healing art of Breema bodywork originated generations ago in the small Kurdish village of Breemava. The Breema approach focuses on the balance of energy within the mind and body, and connecting with our own natural vital energies to encourage wellness. This is accomplished through a combination of nurturing touch, guided stretching, supported postures, and rhythmic movements.
Breema bodywork is generally conducted in partnership with a practitioner who has undergone specialized training, sometimes in conjunction with more conventional massage training.
The practitioner is critically important in Breema bodywork, which teaches that the patient can be most effectively helped by a practitioner who is truly present with them, and comfortable in his or her own body movements. The practitioner guides the recipient through a series of exercises done fully clothed on a mat or padded floor.
These exercises utilize the Nine Principles of Harmony. "No Force" and "Body Comfortable" are two of these principles; practitioners do not push the recipient into position, but rather use more nurturing methods such as leaning, rocking, or cradling the recipient. Changes in position are encouraged using natural body weight as the catalyst. Breema bodywork may be conducted in group classes or through private sessions.
Training and Education
What You'll Study in Breema School
Besides teaching the underlying philosophies of Breema bodywork, Breema training also requires some study of anatomy and physiology. You'll practice the techniques of Breema, from basic exercises and sequences to more complex treatments, and learn how to both give and receive Breema treatments.
Average Length of Breema Bodywork Study
A Breema Practitioner Certificate requires 165 hours of study. However, if you are pursuing Breema training as part of a more comprehensive massage training program, you can expect most programs to range from 500 to 1,000 hours.
Breema bodywork training courses average about $10 to $15 per hour, with a total tuition of about $2,000 for the 165-hour certificate. Massage schools that offer Breema training may cost $5,000 or more, depending on the length of the program.
Breema Bodywork Certification
If you plan to practice Breema bodywork in a state that requires licensing of massage and bodywork practitioners, you may need a certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The NCBTMB credential requires at least 500 hours of training as well as passing a standardized exam. Learn more about massage therapy and bodywork certification and licensing.
Although Breema bodywork is one of the lesser-known healing arts, career opportunities are generally very good in the field of massage therapy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook projects a 23 percent growth rate for massage therapy jobs through 2022, as more and more people learn about the benefits of hands-on healing methods.
Earnings vary greatly in the bodywork field. Practitioners of Breema bodywork generally charge individual patients between $40 and $100 a session; rates are usually lower for group classes. With most massage therapists working 15 to 30 hours per week, those numbers can quickly add up. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for massage therapists is $35,970. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Is a Breema Career Right for You?
Unlike the physically demanding nature of many other forms of bodywork, the practitioner of Breema bodywork is just as likely as the recipient to end a session feeling refreshed. Bodywork practitioners with an interest in the Breema approach should be open to the philosophy that healing is a matter of tapping into our own bodies' vitality rather than merely "fixing a problem." Being comfortable with direct, prolonged, but gentle physical contact is also important. The ultimate benefits include physical and mental relaxation as well as increased flexibility, self-understanding and well-being.
Sources: MassageTherapy.com, NCBTMB, The Breema Center, The Breema Clinic, Yoga Journal.