Breast massage is a tool you can use for many purposes, from identifying breast cancer and easing sore muscles to improving your breastfeeding experience.
Even just 15 minutes of massage may be enough to reap the benefits. You can perform breast massage on yourself. There are very few risks involved, so you can do it as often as you like. For example, in one studya group of new breastfeeding mothers were given two minute breast massages in the 10 days after giving birth.
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Not only that, but their babies also suckled more at the breast, and the milk itself contained less sodium. In a study fromresearchers found that breast massage greatly increased the quality of breast milk when performed in the first year after delivery. The parts of the milk that improved with massage included the:. The most benefits were seen between the first day and 11 months postpartum.
Massage may also help improve the flow of milk. An older study from suggests that the combination of suckling and massage works to both empty the milk ducts and encourage the production of more milk. Massage may also help prevent and treat issues like engorgement, plugged milk ducts, or mastitisan infection of the breast tissue.
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Breast self-exams and massage are ways to identify breast cancer at its earliest stages. According to one studysome 25 percent of women end up detecting their breast cancer through self-exam. Another 18 percent discover cancer by accident. Some people try breast massage as a way to improve the appearance of saggy breasts.
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The belief is that you may increase blood flow to breast tissue through massage. Others use specific oils, like olive oil, in an attempt to help improve skin firmness and elasticity.
Most evidence of this is anecdotal. But in one studyresearchers discovered that striae gravidarum — more commonly referred to as stretch marks — may be prevented by massaging skin with oil. As part of the study, pregnant women were asked to either apply bitter almond oil to their bodies without massage, or to massage their bodies for 15 minutes a day using the almond oil.
At the end of the study, the women who used the oil and massage together had fewer stretch marks. Your breast tissue extends all the way into the area under your armpit. There are many lymph nodes in this part of the body, and massaging them may help stimulate your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is responsible for helping your body flush out toxins.
You may also hear this type of breast massage referred to as manual lymph drainage. According to researchmore than 1 in 5 people with breast cancer develop lymphedema. Symptoms include swelling in the arm, breast, or chest. Usually, it from surgery or radiation. A study examined the combination of bandaging and massage to treat breast-related lymphedema. Researchers found that adding massage showed more ificant improvement than just bandaging. These muscles are called your pectorals. Perhaps you participate in activities, exercises, or sports that strain these muscles. The pectorals are shaped like triangles and rest underneath your breasts.
If you develop tension in your back, you may compensate by tensing your chest muscles as well. Massage to the chest can bring on more lasting relaxation than massaging the back alone. In fact, if you have only your back massaged, your brain will still sense tension in your chest when your session is complete. As a result, the brain may send tension back to your back to rebalance the forces in the two areas of your body.
Massage may be used with or without hand expression.
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Hand expression is the use of your hand to remove breast milk, rather than through a pump or breastfeeding. It may be beneficial in other ways as well. Researchers suggest starting massage with almond oil early in pregnancy for 15 minutes each day. Only 20 percent of the women who followed this regimen developed stretch marks.
In the control group, 41 percent of women had stretch marks, so this method reduced the incidence by half.
Lymph drainage massage starts with the axillary area under your arms. This is where you may actually be able to feel your lymph nodes under the skin.
Continue the massage by moving upward in a clockwise direction on the right breast and counterclockwise on the left breast. This mimics the direction of the lymphatic system. A practitioner may use both hands to gently apply pressure in light strokes the entire way around the breast and underarm. After the circle is complete, your practitioner may pump the breast inward several times using both hands.
You may also try this type of massage on your own. You may even feel the nodes draining under your touch.
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Massage of the breasts and chest muscles is similar, but slightly different. With breast massage, the nipple is often involved. When dealing with the chest muscles, a massage therapist may focus more on the three areas where these muscles attach to the body. While you may be able to relieve tension yourself, a d massage therapist might better manipulate your muscles for the most relief. A professional should first inform you if they plan to massage your chest, and then ask for your consent.
For people with medical conditions who need help with lymphatic damage, tell your doctor about your plans to get breast massage. In these cases, it may be best to seek breast massage from a d massage therapist. If you suspect you may have mastitis, make an appointment with your doctor. Massage can help, but you may also need medications to clear up the infection. Mastitis often develops in the first few months after giving birth. Other symptoms might include fever, pain, swelling, and chills.
Breast massage may ease a range of conditions, from plugged milk ducts to sore muscles. It may even save your life. And if you notice any new lumps or other changes in your breasts, let your doctor know as soon as possible to rule out cancer. Armpits are the next big thing in the detoxing craze. Instead of drinking teas or doing a cleanse, people are mixing up masks and slathering them….
Stretch marks look like indented streaks in your skin. They may be red, purple, or silver in appearance.
If you've ever had a surgery on your lymph nodes, your doctor may have suggested lymphatic drainage massage. This is a technique used to remove waste…. Purpose How to Risks Takeaway Overview.
Why do women massage their breasts? How to perform breast massage. Are there any risks?
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