Lymphatic Decongestion and Breast Health
Bras and tight clothing are a huge issue when it comes to lymphatic health. Did you know that over 60% of women have a congested lymphatic system? And that women who don’t wear a bra are 22% LESS likely to get breast cancer than those who do? Or that some women who have stopped wearing bras have experienced a major decrease in neck and shoulder pain and vanishing of lumps in the breast tissue? The state of your lymphatic health has a huge impact on the creation of cancer cells. Our bodies are designed to detect and rid themselves of mutated cells through the lymphatic system. Wearing constricting clothing - especially around breast tissue, causes congestion that inhibits our bodies ability to clear these mutated cells. Regular Lymphatic Decongestion Therapy along with dry brushing, loose clothing, healthy foods and natural cleaning and hygiene products is essential for optimal breast health.
Dr. David Williams in the October 1997 issue of his “Alternatives" newsletter quotes a study by Sidney Singer of two groups of Fiji women with the same diet, environment and lifestyle, half of whom wore bras and the other half not. Those wearing bras had the same rate of breast cancer as women living in the USA, however the braless Fiji women had almost no breast cancer. (1) As a woman, I understand the comfort that the wearing bras can give and I am all about the extra “support”, however, tight bands and the use of underwire is very constricting to the lymphatic system. The effects of wearing tight fitting underwire bras are clear to me during Lymphatic Decongestion Treatments by the amount of lymphatic congestion I find around areas where bra bands and underwire sit. This congestion can cause insufficient blood and lymph flow in the breasts and armpits and/or blocked milk ducts (whether lactating or not) and even lead to the formation of cancer, fibrosis and lumps in the tissue. Going braless allows breasts to swing and bounce naturally as you move, which pumps the lymphatic fluid and allows the body to naturally detox the tissue.
If you feel the need to wear a bra, consider these options to help improve lymph flow:
Wearing it as little as possible, taking it off when you get home, sleep, etc.
Choosing a bra that allows some breast motion, without cutting tightly under and along the outer edges of the breasts where the milk ducts are located.
Wearing a bralette or loose sports bra.
Wearing a bra without underwire (or making a small hole and pulling out the wire in your current bras)
If you feel need the support of a tighter bra during exercise, take your sports bra off ASAP after working out.
Lymphatic Decongestion Therapy to help counter the effect of tight bras, underwire and other tight clothing.
On the topic of breast cancer, Doctors in the United States push mammography as an essential test for early breast cancer detection, but is it really? One of the largest studies done on breast mammography has concluded that: “Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% (106/484) of (mammography) screen detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, representing one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women who received mammography screening in the trial.” (2)
A 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine calculated that over the last 30 years, mammograms have over-diagnosed 1.3 million women in the United States. (3)Most of these women have then experienced the anxiety and emotional turmoil of a second battery of tests to investigate these false alarms. Most of those 1.3 million women who were over-diagnosed received treatment including surgical procedures from lumpectomies to mastectomies, often with radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy too all due to an over-diagnosis. These treatments are dangerous on their own. Though the risk is slim, especially if it is a matter of life and death, a 2013 study found that radiation treatments for breast cancer increases the risk of heart disease while others have shown it to increase lung cancer risks as well. Another well known cancer treatment, chemotherapy, can damage the heart,and other organs in the body. Tamoxifen, while a powerful treatment for those who need it, doubles the risk of endometrial cancer. (4) In a 2013 medical paper, breast surgeon Michael Baum estimated that for every breast cancer death prevented by mammography, we can expect an additional one to three deaths from causes like lung cancer and heart attacks linked to treatments those women endured. (4)
A recent Australian study revealed that more than half of breast cancers in younger women are not detected by mammograms, approximately 25% of malignant tumors in women in their 40s and 10% in older women are missed. Additionally, routine mammograms on women in their 40’s produce false positive results in over a third of the tests, usually leading to anxiety, unnecessary biopsies, scarring and distortions of the breasts, further impeding the accuracy of later tests. If women start getting regular mammograms at age 40 more cancers will be found because more cancers will be induced by the resulting X-radiation to radiation-sensitive breast tissue, and 98% of women in their 40s get no benefit from mammograms, and the other 2% have their lives extended statistically by only 200 days on the average.
Suggestions for Early Detection:
SELF EXAMINATION: An easy way to check for breast abnormalities is self examination - between 50 and 60% of breast cancers are discovered by women themselves, either by accident or through regular self-examination. Find a guide to breast self examination here.
MEDICAL THERMOGRAPHY: Thermography is merely an accurate image of the heat radiating from your body that detects changes at the cellular level. Studies conclude that this test is 97% sensitive or accurate with no adverse effects, while mammography is only 83% accurate and poses its own risks. Check out flowwell.org for more information on Thermography and breast screening.