At Lymphworks, breast health is a priority of therapist Carol J. (C.J.) McDaniel. She specializes in Breast Massage and Lymph Drainage Therapy and is a frequent service provider for women currently receiving medical treatment for breast cancer.
As a healthcare provider, she has a message for women:
“Your bra may be hurting you.”
Over and over, C.J. McDaniel has observed stagnant lymph vessels, re-routing lymph, lymph enlargement and swollen glands in her patients at exactly the areas where bra elastic tightens and squeezes. She says, “Without a doubt, we do see breast lymph congestion and connective tissue restrictions exactly where the bra line hits and above and below the breast including the armpits. Bras cross major lymph vessel pathways and may act like a tourniquet.” This is especially true for large-breasted women whose breasts are large enough to put considerable strain on the straps and bands, causing breast pain. It’s even more true for those women choosing to wear thin strapped bras and underwires.
Breast tissue has poor lymph flow to begin with because the muscle is under the gland instead of on top of it. Why should you care? Well, the lymph system is designed to keep the body's fluids in balance and evacuate toxins, proteins, and excess fluid from the extra-cellular spaces. In addition to trash collection, the lymph system transports hormones and immune cells throughout the body. It's a vital piece of your immune system. And much of the lymph system is located in and around the chest and armpits (axillas).
Simplified view of some of the Lymph Nodes and Lymphatic Vessels of the female breast. Image compliments of The MacMillan Cancer Support Group.
Lymphworks therapists have noticed definite breast lymph fluid constrictions along the bra lines. Paired with the knowledge that lymph glands can be stimulated with touch as light as the weight of a nickel, the observations lead them to conclude that most bras do inhibit circulation. While plausible medical research has not linked breast cancer to bra wearing, at Lymphworks we say, "Why place constrictions on one of your body's waste disposal systems?" Instead, choose your lingerie for comfort and breast health.
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