Free the Breath! A Hands-on Exploration of the Respiratory Diaphragm and Abdominal Massage

Free the Breath!

A Hands-on Exploration of the Respiratory Diaphragm and Abdominal Massage with MeriJayd O'Connor

Presented in-person - $170

Massage Therapy Continuing Education Hours - 6 

9:30 am - 4:30 pm, August 25th 2024

About the Workshop:

In this workshop, we will explore the structure and function of the respiratory diaphragm, its relationship to breathing and identify whole-body connections. We will learn self-care treatments for enhancing breath as well as hands-on techniques to work with our clients. Incorporating abdominal massage into massage sessions provides worthwhile opportunities to support a client’s ability to improve breathing, build body interoception as well as support the release of tension and pain in the neck and low-back. We will identify key muscles and trigger points that often inhibit the diaphragm’s ability to move. With mindful touch and a deep therapeutic presence, the massage therapist is able to facilitate the client’s parasympathetic activation and vagal tone. To achieve these ends, we will practice and improve communication and draping skills in preparation for abdominal massage, develop therapeutic presence, and practice in-class abdominal massage with a partner.

Students will demonstrate proficiency in abdominal massage, communication skills, professional draping technique and establishing an environment of safety and consent for the client. Students will understand how to enhance their own breathing through self-care techniques and facilitate more easeful breathing with their clients.

About the Instructor:


O’Connor, CST-D, LMT, MTI is a diplomate certified CranioSacral Therapist through the Upledger Institute. She has been a private practice massage therapist for over 24 years. Her teaching experience includes Swedish massage instructor for Texas massage therapists, creative movement and dance with Ballet Austin, and presenting for the Upledger Institute. She is also a certified Level 2 instructor of the MELT Method. MeriJayd creates CE classes for massage therapists that emphasize self-care, therapeutic presence and working mindfully to support longevity and health in thriving massage and bodywork practices.  She brings her passions for movement and dance, cultivating gardens, meditation, and the joy of motherhood to her work allowing for creativity and grounding to support her clients’ healing journeys. She can be reached at