Breast massage treatment, though rare in many massage practices, and at times controversial on the front, should be a greater priority for women and their physical, psychological and spiritual wellness.
The complex issues women frequently face with their breasts, from oversexualized belief systems and femininity, coupled with the assortment of emotions women face after breast surgeries like biopsies, lumpectomies and mastectomies, involve the necessity to deal with this very important organ in a healthy and comfortable manner.
By instituting breast massage therapy as a regular wellness practice, we could prioritize preventative breast care and promote a more healthy and open connection to one’s breasts–free of shame, innuendo or social taboos.
Effects of Cancer Treatment
Invasive breast cancer therapies could lead to tissues losing their gliding ability. In one study released by the Breast Cancer Research Treatment Journal, these restricting effects were more notable for women with more recent treatments than people who had their procedures done a while ago.
From the analysis, “Risk of breast cancer recurrence in patients receiving manual lymphatic drainage: a hospital-based cohort study,” the effects of manual lymphatic drainage were examined on breast cancer survivors with breast cancer-related lymphedema, a frequent complication which may arise immediately or years following treatment of breast cancer.
Breast cancer lymphedema causes pain, heaviness and a restricted range of movement in the upper limb and shoulder. Manual lymphatic drainage, a massage therapy that follows the anatomic lymphatic pathways of the human body, is widely utilized in treating breast cancer lymphedema.
The practice of breast massage aligns with the centuries-old healing wisdom tradition of ayurveda, which teaches that in order to keep up a state of equilibrium, the whole person needs to be addressed.
In many therapeutic techniques, the breast region can be overlooked. Ayurvedic breast massage addresses this difference in therapy to satisfy the requirements of all women–healthy women, women who’ve been diagnosed with or are survivors of breast cancer, women who have fibrocystic breasts and women that are recovering from breast augmentation or reduction or cardiac abnormalities.
Massage is a way to nourish and keep healthy breast tissues and musculature before possible issues arise, and also to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually after life-changing disease like breast cancer.
Breast Massage–The Spurgeon-Shulte Method is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and is currently offered to massage therapists and other types of health-care providers.
The method applies light strokes to mimic the pumping activity of blood vessels and encourages lymph circulation. When healthy motion of the lymphatic fluid gets limited – whether from compromised health, surgeries, restrictive clothing like bras, or perhaps tense posture–toxins may collect and possibly cause disease.
Exercise is effective at pumping lymph fluid around every portion of the human body, except the breast, in which the circulation is often limited by tight clothes.
Breast massage clears the lymphatic channels and can ease release of toxins from the breast. Additionally, by draining fluid that’s stuck in the veins, pain can be reduced in the breast as well as the entire body.
Breast massage includes muscle release techniques to open up the shoulders and chest. In those who have had breast surgeries like reduction or augmentation, this may restore range of motion that has been often severely restricted. This can be extremely beneficial for anybody who frequently sits at a desk, drives a car or works at a computer.
In a different study, “Natural Killer Cells and Lymphocytes Increase in Women with Breasst Cancer Following Masage Therapy,” women diagnosed with breast cancer who received message treatment and regularly practice progressive muscle relaxation reported happier moods and less stress and body discomfort.
Dopamine levels, natural killer cells and lymphocytes in the women studied were reported pre- and post- study. Women that underwent the massage treatment had greater dopamine levels and increased natural killer cells and lymphocytes.
Ayurvedic breast massage therapy helps maintain wholesome breast tissue by encouraging a healthy lymphatic flow to the breasts. Even though the lymphatic system is generally aided by movement or workout, breasts don’t get this same advantage since they’re often restricted under bras and other tight clothes. The massage provides motion into this part of the human body to assist lymphatic flow and flush toxins from the human body.
Breast massage therapy starts from the sternum, then the diaphragm, then the shoulders to bring awareness of congestion or limits in range of motion, then the breast tissues. The massage then ends with more focus on the neck, shoulders and marma point therapy.
Breast massage aids recovery following surgical procedures by maintaining the healthy flow of blood and lymph, ideal for quicker healing. The massage also reduces adhesions and scarring for better overall effects and healing.
To promote wholesome breast care outside the spa, therapists are invited to work with their clients to show them how to conduct their own self-breast massage, a recommended daily routine.
By also focusing on their own bodies, women can better understand what a normal breast feels like, and also be more mindful of any abnormalities regarding which they may then consult a doctor and get appropriate medical care if needed.
Considerations & Contraindications
Breast massage poses no substantial threat; the motion of blood and lymph are very similar to what you’d experience in workout or routine daily motion. But, any massage therapist ought to check their local or state laws to be certain breast massage is within their legal scope of practice.
Furthermore, women interested in getting breast massages or therapies like manual lymphatic drainage must always consult with their doctor before their therapy. Some state regulations call for a referral from a healthcare physician before therapy, as some patients warrant different techniques or have limitations given past medical history or procedures.
Breast massage shouldn’t be performed on anybody having an active cancer, or surgical incisions or wounds which are still healing, and therapists must work in combination with the customer’s primary healthcare providers for a fully comprehensive approach.
AUTHOR: Jennifer Johnson
Publisher: Massage Magazine
Original link: https://www.massagemag.com/ayurveda-breast-massage-therapy-87628/
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