Did you know that the natural rebounding action of your breasts is the main method of drainage for your breast tissue?
Our breasts hold their shape via delicate ligaments that act as support yet encourage movement at the same time. A rich lymphatic network runs through your tissue that facilitates the transport of 75% of the lymph in your whole body!
Unlike other parts of our bodies, our breasts don’t have muscle pumps to assist the movement of fluid through them. They are comprised of glands, ducts and adipose tissue (fat) and are designed for movement. Congested or constricted breasts normally have obstacles impeding this natural drainage and circulation process.
Breast massage can be the main focus of your treatment or can be incorporated into a treatment plan.
Breast massage can help you maintain the health of your breasts, increase relaxation and create a general sense of well being, helping to improve circulation and health as well as providing a sense of holism in your regular massage treatment. Your massage therapist can also be a helpful part of your breast screening routine.
Indications for breast massage can include:
- to maintain the health of your breasts
- breast pain or tenderness, fibrocystic breast disease and life cycle changes
- feeling of constriction in the chest caused by muscle tightness
- improve the mechanics of breathing
- during or post cancer treatment including chemotherapy and radiation
- to create a feeling of well being and induce relaxation
- enhancing your relationship with your body
- prenatal and postnatal discomfort, encourages lactation
- post-surgical changes/symptoms
- premenstrual congestion or swelling of the breast
- assistance with breast monitoring
- upper back and shoulder pain
Some of the above information has been adapted from the book: Breast Massage by Debra Curties, 1999.
Things that can impede optimal drainage of your breasts:
- muskuloskeletal imbalances, specifically in the chest muscles or fascia
- postural changes
- tight clothing (including bras)
- radiation, chemotherapy, removal of lymph nodes
- scar tissue: surgical or functional
- edema, lymphedema
- Your therapist will perform a combination of myofascial release techniques and Swedish massage techniques that promote circulation and drainage.
- Specific work on scar tissue can improve scar quality and reduce pulling by softening the tissue.
- Your therapist can teach you hydrotherapy techniques, stretching, rebounding and self breast massage that you can do at home.
- Manual lymph drainage can help reduce your edema, improve drainage and remove toxins from your tissue.
What to expect on your first visit:
When you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to fill out a confidential health history form. Your therapist will ask you questions and an assessment could be performed in order to understand your goals and to establish a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. Open communication is key in the healing process. You’re invited to express your questions, thoughts and concerns at any time. Your therapist will also discuss various draping options and is trained to massage through sheets if this is your preference.
What your therapist won’t do:
- massage directly over undiagnosed lumps or directly over tumors
- change the treatment plan without your consent