People frequently get massages for the face, hair, and other muscles but some regions in your body are missed. These are your neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back.
This region of your body says a lot about your general health and wellness as it mirrors your signs of aging, stress, dehydration, and sunburns. And, hence, it is important to care about those areas as well.
Decollete massage specifically focuses on your neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back region. This whole region is collectively termed as “decollete” in French which is the origin for this type of massage.
In this article, I will take you through every detail related to decollete massage including the origin, evolution, decollete massage techniques, benefits, decollete face massage, and also who should go for it.
We cannot pin a specific origin for decollete massage because it is a blend of the techniques used in many cultures for beautification.
Starting from the beauty rituals of the ancient Egyptians to Chinese Acupressure techniques, Japanese Shiatsu techniques, and the Indian Ayurvedic Abhyanga, all traditional treatments for maintaining beauty and youth included special care of the neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back region.
Despite the many differences in these cultural beauty regimes, the one thing similar was the use of massage and the application of oils to the region for rejuvenation and skin health.
The French beauty traditions gave special attention to the decollete region, from where the word originated. Over time, the Decollete massage evolved with the advancement in specialized skin treatments and massage routines for all.
Decollete massage is done in a few steps. Here are the techniques and a stepwise process used for decollete massage.
1. Initial consultation
Before going for a decollete massage, a person needs to consult with an expert massage therapist and define the areas of pain just like with any other massage.
If the tension and pain are in the chest, upper back, neck, and shoulder region without any sign of other typical problems then the therapist decides to go for a decollete massage.
- Before starting the massage session the therapist makes sure that the environment is warm, calm, and quiet, with soft lighting.
- The person getting the massage lies straight or in a reclined chair.
- The therapist applies suitable lotion on his/her hands and rubs both hands together to warm them.
3. Warmup strokes
- The therapist begins to apply light strokes to the upper chest.
- The direction of the chest is from the upper chest to the collar bone and then to the neck up towards the chin.
- The therapist uses long, sweeping movements from the chest up towards the neck and sideways towards the shoulders.
- These strokes are repeated for 3 to 5 minutes to warm up the tissue and prepare the decollete for massage.
- The therapist begins to squeeze the muscles between the thumbs and fingers, starting at the shoulders, and moving towards the neck.
- The squeezing and kneading movement is performed slowly by rolling the muscles between the fingers and thumbs from neck to chin.
- These movements are repeated for 5 to 7 to help release the tension and promote relaxation in the decollete.
5. Circular Motion Massage
- The therapist begins to apply gentle pressure with his fingers at the base of the neck and move the fingers in a circular manner around the neck.
- The therapist moves his fingers from the base of the neck to the jawline and then from the center of the neck outwards.
- The therapist then places fingers on the upper chest and applies the same pressure and circular motion to the chest going upwards and sideways to the shoulders.
- The circular motions are repeated for 7 to 10 minutes to increase the blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the region for skin nourishment and detoxification respectively.
6. Percussion Strokes
- The therapist taps the skin of the decollete lightly with his fingers or the sides of his hands.
- The percussions are applied for the next 2 to 3 minutes to stimulate the muscles in the decollete and reduce skin sagging.
7. Cool Down Strokes
- The therapist ends the massage with the same long strokes from the upper chest to the collarbone and up to the jawline.
- These strokes are applied for 3 to 4 minutes to relax the muscles and signal the end of the massage session.
Note: The duration and pressure applied during each movement might vary for each person and individual therapist. So the therapist must always consider the client’s comfort while applying these strokes, and the client must also inform the therapist if any stroke feels painful.
Your decollete region is often neglected, although it suffers from the same amount of stressors as your face. You need to give proper attention to your decollete for many reasons including,
- The skin in this region is thinner
- You have lesser oil glands in this skin
- Your neck is directly exposed to sunlight and is prone to sun damage
- Over the decollete region gets dehydrated and wrinkled
To delay the appearance of damage to your neck because of the above reasons, you need to take care of your decollete in the same way as you take care of your face, hair, nails, and other body parts.
Decollete massage is not just a beauty treatment, it is a holistic approach to making you look good and feel good.
It is scientifically proven to give you many benefits and can treat many conditions, and almost everyone needs to get a decollete massage as much as every other wellness regime.
● Destresses your body
Poor posture and daily stress can build up tension in your upper back, shoulders, and neck region.
Decollete massage releases stress and tension in this region by loosening the muscles and tight fascia in the neck and thus gives you relief from pain and cervicogenic headache.
● Induces relaxation
Decollete massage can induce relaxation by inhibiting stress hormones and stimulating the release of “feel-good” hormones, just like any other massage technique.
● Good for your skin health
Massaging the neck and shoulders revitalizes your skin by increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to the region.
It keeps your skin young by stimulating the production of collagen proteins that delay the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging on your skin.
● Let you breathe deeply
Breathing heavily sometimes fatigues your chest and upper back muscles. Decollete massage relaxes the intercostals, and upper back muscles, reducing your work of breathing and letting you breathe more freely and deeply so that you can do your cardio without getting breathless.
There is scientific evidence that supports the effects of massage and its benefits for your body.
Although we have a lack of research done specifically on decollete massage, here are some shreds of evidence that prove the techniques used in decollete massage to be effective for stress relief, relaxation, and other conditions.
- A study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology suggests the improvement of patients with Fibromyalgia after massage therapy. The results of the study showed that people who took massage therapy had increased sleep duration, reduced movements or disturbances during sleep, and a significant reduction in the level of Substance P which is a pain-signaling neurotransmitter. This study was not specifically done on decollete massage, however, the effects of that massage therapy can be generalized to the decollete area as the researchers also reported lesser tender points in the muscles of the patients who received massage therapy.
- Another study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has proven a single session of Swedish Massage that uses similar techniques as decollete massage to be effective in reducing the inflammatory effects and increasing the number of lymphocytes in the blood that boost overall immunity.
Anyone can benefit from decollete massage but certain people might need it more. Those are:
● People who love sunbathing
If you are young and you love soaking in the sun, there is a chance that your decollete might have sunburn, tanning, and wrinkles because the ultraviolet radiation in the sun can damage your skin. To prevent this, you need to get a decollete massage regularly to rejuvenate your skin against sun damage.
● People having a stressful lifestyle
Mental stress can take the form of physical stress as it causes muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. Decollete massage reduces your stress by regulating your stress hormones and also keeps your muscles relaxed for physical relaxation.
● People with aging skin concerns
Signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin occur due to the loss of collagen and elastin protein in your skin as you age. Decollete massage boosts your body’s collagen production to reduce the appearance of the signs of aging.
● People with desk-jobs
If you spend most of your day in front of a desk using your laptop, then you might have pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It occurs because of the posture that builds up tension in your muscles.
So, make it a habit to get special treatment for your neck and upper back muscles in the form of a decollete massage. Decollete massage softens the muscles in your neck region, helps prevent knots, and improves your overall posture
● People with asthma
The major muscle that helps you breathe in and out is your diaphragm. People with asthma use the chest and neck muscles more than the diaphragm for breathing because asthma requires more force from these muscles to breathe out.
Over time the chest and neck muscles get tight, knots are formed, and there is severe chest pain leading to many other problems. That’s why, a decollete massage is best for asthmatic people to keep their muscles relaxed.
● People with insomnia
Pain in the decollete region along with headaches can result in a lack of sleep. Someone suffering from insomnia finds it difficult to fall asleep because of something bothering like stress, anxiety, or physical tension.
A session of decollete massage can erase all the possible causes of insomnia and the relaxation induced helps the person sleep much better.
● People recovering from lymphatic disorders
Your chest and neck region have major lymphatic vessels from the cervical lymph nodes. Decollete massage is therefore helpful for people recovering from lymphedema or cancers because the sweeping movement of the therapist’s hands during the massage sessions stimulates lymphatic drainage.
Decollete massage originated in ancient Egyptian times and got its name from the French language. The decollete area has very delicate structures and the skin in this region is also thin that is prone to environmental stressors like sunburn.
So a person needs a decollete massage to prevent damage from these stressors, delay the signs of aging, and rejuvenate the skin by stimulating circulation and collagen production.
Everyone should make decollete massage an essential part of self-care and wellness regime because it can solve many serious problems along with making you look and feel young.