Breast massage is a useful tool in maintaining the health of your breasts. According to the Texas Institute of Functional Medicines, breast massage is the act of slowly kneading and stroking the breasts, using varying amounts of mild to moderate pressure in gentle lifting and compressive movements. You can perform breast massage on yourself or with the help of a partner or trusted qualified practitioner.
As with any massage, its primary purpose is to rid your body of the harmful toxins that interfere with your health; however, there are many cosmetic and therapeutic benefits to breast massage as well.
Breast massage can;
- help clear congestion, oedema or lymphedema;
- help reduce breast pain;
- help reduce the discomforts of pregnancy, breastfeeding and weaning;
- help improve general drainage problems;
- reduce menstrual congestion;
- ease tenderness and congestion related to benign conditions;
- reduce scarring from recent surgery;
- ease pain and improve perception of breast trauma;
- ease discomforts related to cancer treatments*
- integrate post-surgical changes;
- educate in self examination and self massage.
Breast massage can be useful in maintaining the shape of your breasts and preventing sagging. According to the Ayurvedic Cure website, massaging your breasts stimulates circulation, which is necessary for keeping your breast tissue healthy. Massage also helps break up benign cysts, strengthens the muscle tissue of the chest and builds resiliency in the ligaments. With breast massage, your breasts will be firmer and less likely to sag.
Massage is contraindicated when lactational mastitis, post surgical infection, current active infection for any reason, any undiagnosed lump, any abscess or any forceful technique on implant related contracture.
Men suffer from breast conditions too, including cancer. While incidence is low, prognosis is often poor because of late diagnosis.
Self Breast Massage
You should never consent to breast massage if you cannot, for whatever reason clarify your wishes and comfort boundaries, if the therapist cannot establish professional neutrality, or if you and therapist cannot establish open communication.
*when treating clients with breast cancer, the therapist must have a body of knowledge about cancer, cancer therapies and implications for massage treatment planning
- Curtis, D., ‘Breast Massage’, 1999, Canada
- Ernst, M., ‘The Benefits of Breast Massage’, viewed 20 January 2016, <http://www.livestrong.com/article/134213-the-benefits-breast-massage/>