© 2012 Victoria Bowmann, PhD
While a mammogram might show a lump or fibrous tissue; which could be addressed with a surgical procedure, there’s more to breast health than seeing if there’s a lump. For this article, our definition of “preventive care” is what one chooses to do daily to support ones body to vital and full of life.
Sometimes it is not what someone does that matters, but what one doesn’t do that is important. The wires in bras are constrictive to the lymphatic flow around the breasts. While most women wear these for appearance, only a few needs them for support due to the size of their breasts. Instead, select natural fiber (cotton) bras and have them fitted so that correct support is provided. Small-breasted individuals can select “bra tops” which have a lining to the top with an elastic band for under the breast. This provides some support and reduces the constriction of lymphatic flow.
For those women that need the support of the wires, after removing the bra, place one arm on top of your head (thereby opening the lymph flow of the area) and gently zig-zag rub across the skin where the wire has pressed against the area. Start at the armpit and rub to the center of the chest and then back to the armpit, following the path of the wire. Take 30 seconds for one breast and then, place the opposite arm on top of the head and repeat on the other side. This is beneficial whether or not one wears a wire bra or not. Frequently the skin will begin to “itch” as the lymphatic fluid increases its flow in the chest.
When a woman examines her breasts on a monthly basis, she will know when something is not quite right. Start with the arm placed on top of one’s head and using the opposite hand, begin a circular examination slowly increasing the side of the circle (#1 of illustration). Begin at the lower edge of the nipple and thoroughly and gently walk a circular path until all the tissue is covered. Become aware of what your breast feels like and you will recognize changes if and when they occur. One will also begin to recognize congestion in these areas. Now that we have a baseline of the breasts’ health, one can now begin a program to encourage our immune system to work in our favor.
There are many things that can help the drainage of congestion in the breasts. One is to place the fingertips of one hand into the armpit of the other side. Very gently pump (or press) into the little hollow where the armpit connects to the outer edge of the breast (#2 of illustration). Doing this once or twice a day encourages drainage in these tissues. It’s a great technique to use in the shower. Men can also do this as breast cancer can affect their bodies as well.