What To Expect In A Typical Massage Session
Here is what you can usually expect at a massage session:
- When you arrive for your massage appointment, the massage therapist will ask if you have any injuries or health conditions. Make sure to tell your therapist about your breast cancer treatment. This helps him or her to determine the type of massage that’s right for you, as well as any areas to avoid.
- Depending on the setting, you may have the option to either lie on a table or sit in a chair for your massage.
- If you choose a table massage, you’ll be taken to a private room and asked to remove some or all of your clothing and to cover yourself with a blanket.
- If you choose a chair massage, you will probably not be taken to a private room, and you won’t need to remove your clothing.
Breast Massage : Treat Yourself In The Breast Way
Breast massage can benefit anyone with a chest at any stage of life. It can be particularly beneficial for lactating women and folks with a family history of breast cancer .
Breast massage is also a major part of the Indian Ayurvedic system of natural medicine, which has been around for more than 2,000 years.
A warm oil massage called Abhyanga can involve massaging the breast tissue to release toxins. While there isnt much research around this style of breast massage, a 2011 study found that Abhyanga decreased subjective stress levels and lowered heart rate.
Other Forms Of Tendonitis In The Arm
In addition to rotator cuff tendonitis discussed above, additional forms of arm tendonitis can arise as side effects of breast cancer treatment. These include tendonitis of the tendons of the elbow , thumb and biceps muscle , and they are typically caused by abnormal use or function of the shoulder.
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Can Massaging Breasts Make Them Bigger
Absolutely Yes. Massaging breasts is one of the most used technique to increase breast size. Heres why it works like a charm:
Women breasts are made of fatty tissues as well as adipose fat. These fatty tissues get responsive when they are stimulated. So, while massaging the breasts, the fatty issues get stimulated which leads to lymph circulation.
This phenome ultimately results in determining the size and shape of your breasts. It also determines the firmness.
Also, massaging your breasts increases the blood circulation which results in the stimulated growth rate of prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone which is common in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some other benefits of massaging your breasts are:
- Healthy response of hormones
- Produces higher level of oxytocin. As a result, it helps to reduce PMS syndrome, prevents breast cancer and limits the happening of cysts.
- The breast tissues get oxygenated as well as detoxified.
- Overall better breast health
- The right technique can make your body and mind calm
Thats why massaging is till now one of the best and safest methods to increase breast size naturally.
Yvonne Zipter Lmt Bctmb
Yvonne completed her massage therapy training at the Cortiva Institute in Chicago in 2007. Following graduation, she earned certifications in prenatal and geriatric massage and became Board Certified with the NCBTMB in 2014. Early in her career, she worked primarily with amateur athletestriathletes and runners, mostlybut now works mainly with issues related to disability. Yvonne has never gotten over the thrill of being able to help people feel better and loves exploring the many ways massage can improve our health.
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Do Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer
Underwire bras do not increase your risk of breast cancer.
There have been some concerns that the wires in the cup of underwire bras may restrict the flow of lymph fluid in the breast causing toxins to build up in the area. However, theres no reliable evidence to support this.
If your bra is too tight or too small, the wires can dig into your breasts and cause discomfort, pain or swelling. Find out more about wearing a well-fitting bra.
Feng Shui Breast Massage
The Feng Shui massage technique mainly focuses on energy. It ensures a steady circulation of energy throughout your breasts and the rest of the body. Once you start doing this, the result will come within 2 to 3 weeks.
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Incidence Of Breast Cancer
The National Cancer Institute statistics review states that fewer than five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. are younger than 40. Rates begin to increase after age 40 and are highest in women over age 70.
Further, the median age of diagnosis of breast cancer for women in the U.S. is 61 years of age, according to the American Cancer Societys Breast Cancer Facts & Figures.
Caucasian women have a higher incident rates of breast cancer compared to African-American women, specifically between the age of 60 and 84 however, African-American women have a higher incidence rate before age 45 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.
There are several ways breast cancer is treated, depending on the type and stage of the disease These include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.
Side effects of these treatments include fatigue, headache, depression, anxiety, pain and numbness, lymphedema , axillary web syndrome, bone loss and osteoporosis, heart problems and more, according to the American Cancer Society.
Uses Of Different Techniques
The best type of massage can vary depending on your symptoms and how your cancer and cancer treatments have affected your body. Gentle massage is tolerated by most people with cancer, and is sufficient to release “endorphins,” the “feel good” chemicals released by the brain that can reduce pain. For those who have muscle tightness and stiffness, stronger methods of massage, such as Swedish massage, may be needed.
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The Role Of Lymph Drainage
A gentle, noninvasive therapy such as lymph drainage massage is an appropriate fit for the typical profile of a breast cancer patient and their unique long-term symptoms.
Lymphatic drainage is designed to deal with swelling and helps to reduce pain.
Lymphedema is often the most dreaded complication of breast cancer treatment, along with pain and loss of range of motion. In addition, physical therapists and nurses are not trained in lymphatic drainage.
A massage therapist trained in lymphatic drainage is a valuable part of a cancer patients health care team.
The light, supportive touch of a lymphatic drainage massage therapist will help breast cancer survivors deal with anxiety, pain and difficulty of adjusting to life after treatment.
Massage Therapy + Giving Patients Control
The unpredictable nature of cancer can sometimes make patients feel powerless. According to Greenlee, however, that is sometimes where massage therapy really shineshelping oncology patients regain a sense of control.
I think that being involved in integrative medicine or using integrative medicine can be very empowering to patients, Greenlee says. It is something that they can do on their own, and the approach that we take is that we want patients to be as healthy as possible so that they can also receive their treatment.
Additionally, the relationship cancer patients have with their massage therapist can also be empowering, helping the patient feel more like a whole person than just their diagnosis. Laura Dutton, a massage therapist with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, emphasized the importance of this dynamic and how it can truly make a difference. I think it is that sense of being treated as a whole person, she explains. We have an incredible opportunity as massage therapists to spend a concentrated amount of time with patients in a sort of continuous care setting, so you also can help people better manage their own self-care.
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Massage And Breast Cancer: What You Need To Know
Nothing beats the therapeutic value of a massage after a hard day, and breast cancer treatment is a marathon of long, hard days. During this time, a trained massage therapist can help in many ways.
Ease your pain. Massage can reduce fatigue and soften muscles and connective tissues which might feel tight and uncomfortable. Cancer, stress, and side effects of treatment take a toll on the body, and the right massage can offer chemical-free relief.
Reconnect you with your body. The sensation of healing hands on your body can be a great reminder of the experience youre undergoing and the strength youre demonstrating to get through it. Your practitioners hands on your own brave skin can offer support, validation, and comfort when you need it the most.
Cheryl Chapman, nurse and massage therapist, says that massage allows a woman to let go of fear, anger and loneliness and deal with her altered self-image.
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Restore your spiritPart of the massage experience, for many people, is a spiritual connection that transcends the physical experience happening in the room. The energy exchanged between the practitioner and the recipient can lift up both people, and that healing is especially beneficial in the atmosphere of breast cancer treatment.
Get the information you need to give yourself the best resources for healing, and, as always, if in doubt, ask!
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What Are The Benefits Of Massage If You Have Breast Cancer
Massage can help with:
- emotional wellbeing
Booking yourself in for a massage can be a great way to do something for yourself away from your everyday stresses. After a breast cancer diagnosis, feeling stressed and being less active than usual can contribute to muscle tension and discomfort. Massage involves working on the bodys muscles and joints, using the hands to stretch and apply pressure in rhythmic strokes, which can soothe stiffness and encourage deep relaxation. Many people leave feeling looked after, refreshed and more in control.
Some people find that massage also helps them feel energised, which may help if you have cancer-related fatigue.
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How To Massage Breasts
Now that you know why massaging your breasts can be beneficial, youre probably wondering how to massage breasts.
Generally, theres no right or wrong way to massage the breast. Just like the rest of the body, apply gentle pressure circular motions and smooth strokes are both great ways to massage. But there are a few different techniques for breast massage, depending on why you are massaging.
If youre massaging for lactation, then follow this method:
- Start with one breast and place four fingers on the top and four on the bottom.
- Massage gently in a circular pattern.
- Move to the sides of the breast and repeat the massage.
If youre interested in breast massage for lactation, its best to ask a lactation consultant for advice and proper technique.
If youve been treated for cancer and youre massaging your breasts to check for lumps, its important to be careful. Radiation therapy and surgery leave tissue in a fragile state. A licensed massage therapist who is trained in breast massages and cancer therapy can provide the support your breasts need during the massage. Be sure to ask a doctor if you need breast massage.
Who Shouldnt Use Massage Therapy
People with cancer should avoid very deep massage. Gentler types may be safer.
Some people worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body. But no research has proved this to be true.
Sometimes massage techniques might need to be adapted if you:
- are having cancer treatment
- suffer from arthritis
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Always talk to your cancer doctor or specialist nurse before using any type of commercial massage therapy. An adapted treatment offered from a therapist in a cancer care centre or hospice might be more appropriate for you.
Avoid massaging any area of your body where you are having radiotherapy to. And dont have massage to areas where your skin is broken, bleeding or bruised.
You should avoid general massage therapy to your arms or legs if they are swollen because of lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a build up of fluid due to the lymphatic system not draining properly. This might be a result of surgery to remove the lymph nodes, or damage to the lymph nodes or lymphatic vessels from radiotherapy.
There is a specific type of massage used for lymphoedema called manual lymphatic drainage . This is a very specialised treatment and people who need MLD are referred to a lymphoedema specialist by their doctor or specialist nurse.
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Try Reiki Breast Massage
There are several massaging techniques that can help you enlarge breast size. One of them is Reiki. Reiki means spiritual life energy in Japanese. The massage will stimulate the blood flow to your breasts and help increase the size. Many women use this massage to improve the shape of their breasts as well.
- Find the most comfortable position to start the massage. If you feel better sitting down, then take a seat, since your legs might get tired.
- Place your palms on your breasts.
- Start rubbing each breast with a circular motion. Your right hand will be going clockwise and your left hand will go counterclockwise.
- While doing the inward motions, press downward on your breasts.
- Set your breasts in motion. They should be rotated themselves instead of just being rubbed by your hands.
- Make sure both breasts are rotated simultaneously
- Do at least 300 rotations to get the effect. You can do less the first couple of times as practice. You wont get any results but your arms will get the training they need for the next sessions.
Massage Therapy + Depression
Depression is not an uncommon occurrence when dealing with cancer, or even after surviving the disease. At a time when a patient is dealing with a lot of unknowns or worrying about possible outcomes, changes in mood can be expected, but that doesnt make depression any less troublesome.
There is some research, however, that massage therapy may help with depression and mood disorders in cancer patients. For example, meta-analysis indicated a significant association between massage therapy and alleviated symptoms of depression.4 Researchers also found that massage therapy helped significantly reduce depression in HIV patients when compared to light touch or no intervention.5
More recently, the Society for Integrative Oncology created evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of integrative therapies for breast cancer patients, both during and after treatment. After examining randomized trials from 1990 to 2015, researchers were able to identify major benefits of the different integrative therapies for breast cancer patients. Meditation, relaxation, yoga, massage and music therapy are recommended for depression/ mood disorders, they explain.
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About Other Touch Based Therapies
There are many different types of touch-based therapy including shiatsu, acupressure, reflexology and therapeutic touch.
These therapies are based on the idea that everyone has a special type of energy that can be used to give health benefits. This comes from the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine .
There is no evidence that this type of energy exists, or that it can have any effect on cancer. But, some people find these therapies relaxing and calming.
Some of these therapies do not use any, or use very little, physical contact. Others involve applying massage or pressure to certain areas of the body.
These therapies are available in some hospitals. If you are looking for them somewhere other than in a hospital, it is important to check that the therapist or practitioner is trained, registered and insured.
A therapy called aromatherapy is sometimes thought of as touch-based. We have more information about aromatherapy in the section on plant-based therapies.
Research On Massage In People With Breast Cancer And Other Types Of Cancer
Studies have shown that massage seems to offer both physical and emotional benefits for women with breast cancer.
A 2003 study at the University of Minnesota compared the effects of massage healing touch with the caring presence of a doctor or nurse in 230 people who had cancer. In this study, researchers found that, while both healing touch and massage lowered anxiety and pain, massage also reduced the need for pain medicine.
In a 5-week study at the University of Miami in 2003, massage therapy and progressive muscle relaxation therapy were compared in 58 women with stage I and II breast cancer. Both groups reported feeling less anxious, and the massage group also reported feeling less depressed. The massage group also showed increased levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which helps produce a feeling of well-being. In addition, for the massage group, there was an increase in protective white blood cells that help boost the immune system from the first to the last day of the study.
There is no evidence that massage can cause an existing cancer to spread.
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