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With deep compression massage, it's especially important to have breast pillows available for large-breasted clients and those with implants. (Remember, all that fabulous deep work around the scapula is effecting everything on the anterior side of the body, too!)
There are breast pillows available for purchase at many massage product companies that can range upward to $60. (And these are great if you happen to have one.) But we have a clever, low-cost alternative. We've been teaching this in our Ashiatsu classes for years, and have now decided to detail a how-to on our blog for our wonderful graduates!
Visit your local Joanne Fabrics or other craft/fabric store. In the back of the store, there is typically a place with "scrap foam" pieces. Look for a piece of foam about 2 inches thick and the size of a standard pillow or the width of your massage table. (I found one large piece of foam. Big enough to make 2 breast pillows - for a total of $2!)
Take a small plate and place it on the foam and trace around it with a marker where you want to create the recesses.
With an electric turkey carver, cut along the marked areas and remove that piece of foam.
Don't forget to cut a little notch for the neck at the top of the foam.
Put a pillowcase over it, or place it under thesheet in your sessions. Your clients will never see the actual pillow and never know that it's simply $2 foam. It creates instant comfort for your female clients - they will thank you for it! When not in use, simply store it under your massage table - tucked away for when you will need it next.
This pillow also works great for clients with recent mastectomies. It's often uncomfortable for them to lay on their stomach as there's nothing but bone for them to lay on. Especially for clients who have had 1 mastectomy and have 1 breast remaining - the pillow allows them to comfortably lie on their stomach without feeling lopsided. I've actually made these as gifts to my clients who have had mastectomies because they are so grateful to have found a comfortable way to lay on their stomach.
By Cindy Iwlew
Michigan & Illinois Ashiatsu Instructor