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Breast Massage Therapy
~ Overview ~

Breast massage is not just for making you feel good. It is good for enabling your nervous system and your lymphatic system to function better. It helps to clear toxins from your cells. It can help prevent breast cancer.

We have two complete circulatory systems in our body: One  circulates  blood   and the other circulates the fluid that we refer to as  lymph or  lymphatic fluid.   Blood is usually contained in blood vessels  (arteries,  capillaries, veins, etc. while the lymphatic fluids start  their journey as a  free-flowing liquid that   surrounds the outer  cellular membranes of  body  tissue cells. The lymph   eventually  reaches its own special vessels  that lead to our lymph glands or   lymph "nodes". Blood brings nutrients  (minerals, glucose, oxygen,  etc.) to the   individual cells and carries away  some waste products.  Many metabolic waste products   that result from each body  cell carrying out  its duties exit through that cell's   membrane. Excreted  waste  products are cleaned up by the lymphatic fluids   that surround the  cells.

Lymph glands act as filters to pull out waste products and toxins, and process them out of the body. Our bodies were designed to do this quite well, but we have done some modifications to the original "blueprint" from which the original human was constructed. Much of our clothing that we wear places restrictions upon the lymphatic system.

The lymph fluid moves about our body just under the surface of our skin. Picture a liquid flowing between two layers of plastic kitchen wrap. Think about what it would take to prevent the liquid from flowing between the plastic layers. Dropping a dime on the sheets would cause a redirection of that flow. Our lymphatic flow is almost as delicate. While our skin is much thicker than the plastic wrap, the idea is similar. Our blood has the advantage of a heart to serve as a force behind its movement. Lymphatic fluid has no such pump. It must rely on the movement of our body parts and our muscles to make the fluid flow to the lymph glands.

When we put pressure on our skin, we alter (or sometimes prevent) the flow of the lymphatic fluid. Place a rubber band around your arm, just below the elbow, that only depresses the skin less than the thickness of the rubber band. Take it off thirty minutes later and you will see a red welt that is depressed into your skin. You can bet that the lymphatic flow is impeded beyond that point. Check that depression again thirty minutes… sixty minutes later and it will still be noticeable. How long will that lymphatic flow be compromised? Have you ever seen red welts like this one on your breasts, chest wall or back when you removed a bra? How about on your body, after you remove other tight clothing, such as a belt, shoe laces, tight waistband, stockings, etc. It is believed that this restricts the removal of toxins that may in fact cause complications, possibly even breast cancer.

How I Would Explain Our Lymphatic System Thus will give you a more detailed and more technical account of the Lymphatic System. It should help you to understand the lymphatic system a little better,  that "other" valuable circulatory system in our body.
Link Between the Lymphatic System and Breast Cancer A second article about the lymphatic system, is written by a professional Physical Therapist, as a paper for other medical professionals. It is preceded by an Overview written by a lay-person, that may help you to understand the main article if the terminology is a bit heavy for you.
Breast Massage Since lymph is restricted in its movement and drainage by tight clothing, Robin Cunningham has written about a BREAST MASSAGE technique in which she shows us how to provide a positive flow to the lymphatic fluid in the breasts.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE THERAPY Dr. Howard Sanford points out that an old nemesis that women have faced for years can be helped if proper circulation of the lymphatic fluid occurs. Formerly called Fibrocystic Breast Disease, it has been suspected to be influential in the origination of breast cancer.

Some states will not allow therapists to do breast massage, because of the sexual attachment that many people have placed on breasts. For those women living in those states, breast massage and lymphatic drainage will have to be done by themselves or their partners.

If women are having success with breast massage, or they are finding a relief from breast pain, we need to do what we can to make it available to the women that want to use it. E-mail Ken at  (BreastCare@comcast.net) to tell us what your experiences have been with breast massage, or ask any questions that you may have.