Lymphatic Breast Massage
Most women have probably not heard of lymphatic breast massage. That is because lymphatic drainage massages are typically recommended to people suffering from lymphedema, a type of swelling created by blocked lymph nodes. However, in recent years some practitioners and health specialists have begun recommending lymphatic massage to all women who wish to improve their breast health. There is now some evidence that this kind of massage can reduce breast pain and swelling, as well as benefit your immune system.
Lymph fluid helps your body filter out toxins and harmful substances. It travels through the body and collects waste products, depositing them in the lymph nodes where the toxins are filtered out. The breasts and surrounding tissues have a large number of lymph nodes, meaning that lymph travels regularly to this part of the body. However, because the breasts have little muscle and do not experience regular movement, lymph can begin to accumulate instead of draining as it should. A lymphatic drainage massage stimulates lymph to circulate naturally, reducing swelling and helping your body filter out toxins more efficiently.
Breast massage is also beneficial when it comes to cancer prevention because it helps you check your breast tissue regularity. This in turn may help you recognize any changes or new lumps in your breasts. However, a lymphatic breast massage should not be used to replace regular exams, because it is not deep or thorough enough to detect all changes that might be deep inside the tissue.
There are many types of lymphatic breast massage, ranging from light self-massage to full professional lymph drainage. Unless you have an existing condition such as lymphedema, a simple regular massage will be enough.
Having a professional massage at least the first time is recommended, especially if you are unfamiliar with the concept of a lymph breast massage. This kind of massage should mimic the way lymph naturally flows through your breasts, so the sequence of the motions and type of strokes are important for the massage to work. A lymphatic breast massage should never put hard compression directly on your breast tissue, and it should never hurt. The lymph nodes are fairly small and are not positioned deeply under your skin, and only light pressure is needed to stimulate them.
Look for a trained professional who is certified in this kind of massage. A good practitioner should be respectful of your privacy and willing to talk you through the various steps and benefits of breast massage. After a professional has taught you how to perform a self-massage, you can repeat the procedure at home.
You should never have a breast massage if you have pain, swelling or inflammation in the breasts, or active breast cancer. If you have any conditions that affect your lymph nodes, speak to your doctor before performing any kind of breast massage.