Q&A: Massage Therapy: Breast Implants

Mizz B. asks: I just got breast implants, please explain to me how to massage them.

Massagewallah answers:

Thanks for asking! This is very important thing to do!

There are a few different methods of massage used to prevent incapsulation (Capsular Contracture) of the implant. First, this type of preventative massage need not be done on texured implants, only smooth (general massage is ok for texured implants, though). Also if the impants are submuscular (rather then subglandular) these exercises dont need to be done.

Massage is generally contraindicated for the first 24-72hrs post op.

The main two techniques, as you mentioned are 1.Pocket Quadrant Exercises (PCE) and 2. Compression work.

PCE involves manual displacement of the impant to the outermost corners of the implant pocket: Up, down, side to side, holding each for a few seconds. To start off with do this every 2-3 hours, for the first couple weeks postop, then 2-3 times a day for a few weeks after that, and then once a day for the life of the implants.

Compression work is using a flat palm pressed with light-to-medium pressure against the implant flattening it and keep the pocket open. This can also be done by laying on the floor. Do this about 30m a day for the first few months and then try to keep it up as you go on.

Another thing to do is to actually squeeze the implants, feeling your fingers meeting in the middle

Source(s):
Aristide M. LaVey, LMT subspecializing in post op breast implant massage therapy.

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Q&A: Massage Therapy: Licensing: LA

Ofelia asks: How do I obtain a license for massage therapy in LA?  I need to know how to obtain a license, how much money I need to come up with to get my license and how long it would take before I can receive it?

Massagewallah answers:

 Getting a LA city license is a whole lot of petty work but certainly worth it.

In Cali, cities are regulated seperately. When I was working in the LA area, I was licensed in LA (city), LA (county), West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Places like Santa Monica and the surrounding areas all have their own licenses, so be sure where you want to work and get the correct license.

First go the the city clerk’s office closest to you. I went to the

West Los Angeles Office
1828 Sawtelle Blvd., Suite 102
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 575-8888

Fill out paper work, take fingerprints, bring two passport photos, pay the fee some 300$+/-, then they will give you a date to take the test down in San Pedro (near Long Beach), which is administered once or twice a month. They will also give you a form that you need to have signed by your employer (who has a spa license), and a form to take to a doctor to get a physical, stating you are free from infectious diseases.

That test will be both a practical (bring a friend) and a multiple choice written exam. Those tests are both really retarded. You will find out if you passed that day, so hang around and bring a book, as well as a snack.

Then they do a police investigation on you, and you wait, you wait, and wait some more. Then they will mail you your license, permit, and tax certificate.

You must maintain 6h CEU per year and pay the annual renewal few of 58$.

Good luck!

Know How to Do Breast Massage « HEALTH & FITNESS

From Health & Fitness

Breasts are body tissues, which can be effectively self-massaged or massaged by someone else. At some time or the other, most women experience physical and psychological trauma related to breast congestion, breast pain, discomforts of surgical procedures, and anxieties about changes in their breast tissues.

The fact that breasts are strongly associated with sexual touching and attractiveness, does not rule out the fact that they should not receive physical care. Breast care is an important area of health that is often neglected, due to the stigmas surrounding the treatment of this part of the body.

The breast tissue contains an abundance of lymph vessels. Unlike other areas of the body, the breast lacks sources of external compression, such as muscles or strong overlying frontal part that promotes natural lymphatic drainage. As a result, fluid has a tendency to stagnate, which may lead to breast problems. This is where gentle, non-stimulating massage techniques can be used to aid fluid recirculation.
Massage therapy is an effective non-invasive treatment for breasts, as they also require need good circulation and tissue mobilization for optimum health. It is at times believed that there may be a correlation between chronic poor breast drainage and susceptibility to cancer. Massage techniques is one of the most effective ways for addressing such problems and promoting breast health.

Advantages of breast massage:

# Breast massage is a concept used by women since centuries. It is a simple process, which can be done in the privacy of home. Secondly, it is an easy process and doesn’t take more than a few moments to accomplish.

# The breast is made up of tissue and adipose fat. A firm and proper massage helps tone these tissues and firms them up. This gives the breasts a healthier and more natural look.

# Breast massage help create a beautiful bust line by helping to shape and tone it, thus increasing its overall attractiveness.

# It helps one be aware of any fibrous areas of possible indications of breast cancer.

# It helps flush out high toxin materials from the breast, bring nutrition to the tissues and specifically remove the toxins via the lymphatic system.

# It gives women a feeling of their femininity, and promotes relaxation and peace of mind, as massage of other body parts does.

# Breast massage helps correct sagging, droopiness and other features, which are considered unattractive.

# Breast massage helps enhance the health and elasticity of the support ligaments, which in turn provides better breast support.

How to do breast massage?

Women’s breasts vary considerably in texture and sensitivity to pressure. Hence, gentle strokes for those who are sensitive or have softer breasts. Moderate pressure may be more effective for those with firmer-textured breasts. A lotion or massaging oil can also help avoid friction, and lessen sensitivity.
Gentle-to-moderate kneading, rubbing, and squeezing strokes with the hands are enough to encourage increased lymph and blood flow to the breast. The breast can be kneaded and squeezed by contracting the palm and fingers of the hand.

1. To drain the lymph fluid from the breast, a common massage stroke is a gentle radial outward stroke from the nipple to the outer edge of the breast. This is done by applying light pressure starting from the centre of the breast and making several strokes outwards from the nipple.

2. Hold your breast. But, instead of squeezing it out, give it a twirling kind of motion. Rotate your hands (and thus the breast) in a clockwise motion, followed by an equal anticlockwise motion. Continue this for about ten times.

3. Open out your palms on the breast such that are facing downwards. Then move your palms downwards so that the fingers rub against the side surfaces of the breast. This should be avoided on the nipple, as it may spoil its shape.

A gradual feeling of warmth in the massaged area indicates increased blood flow to massaged areas.
To gain maximum benefit and therapeutic effects, breast massage should be practiced daily, as part of a routine – perhaps when fresh out of the shower, since the skin is still somewhat moist. Massage can also be done several times a day, depending on requirement and schedule.

Precautions:

Breast massage is a very simple process that can be done by the individual. However, it must be done with the utmost care. Improper breast massage can actually boomerang, like damaging of the glandular tissues that hold your breasts upright.

Lymph drainage therapy for breast care:

Lymph drainage therapy (LDT) is a gentle, non-stimulating technique with few contraindications. LDT is particularly effective for treating breast tissue because it involves extremely light pressure. Mastopathies respond well to lymphatic breast care.

Breast problems, which benefit from LDT include:

# Menstruation related problems – breast pain and swollen breasts.

# Pregnancy and breast-feeding problems – engorgement due to massive breast edema, sore nipples, inflammation/infection, plugged ducts or nipple pores, fissures, dermatitis and stretch marks.

# Chronic non-malignant lumps –

# Breast implant complications

# Cosmetic concerns such as surgery and trauma recovery; scarring.
It is time for efficient breast care to be brought into the realm of accepted practice. Armed with proper knowledge and a clear understanding of our limits, we can eliminate the controversy and stigma surrounding this necessary therapeutic application

Top ten benefits of Massage (Shiatsu) during pregnancy « Shiatsu blog

Naked

by Catherine @ peaceachday

Pending my massage

I am naked in a bed

Warm oil in your hands

My version, inspired by catherine’s naked.

                     naked

pending your massage

you are naked on a bed

warm oil in my hands

NiteSpa in Daily Candy

July 8, 2005
Dialing Under the Influence
nitespa!

Late-night urges are the worst.Keebler binges. Infomercial-fueled shopping sprees. And, of course, the highly unsuitable booty call.

Next time you find yourself wanting to drink and dial, think about giving Nitespa a ring.

The beach bungalow spa is open from noon until midnight seven days a week. Kitted out with vintage furniture and sweet pink, vanilla, and chocolate brown hues, the space is cozy and Neapolitan. Treatments include massages, facials, nails, waxing, and makeup application. Services are by appointment, as are private parties (the in-house DJ really comes in handy).

All perfect for catering to the nocturnal beauty needs of busy bees, latey birds, and anyone who wants a little after-dark TLC.

The kind you won’t regret the morning after.
Nitespa, 1301 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, at Santa Clara Court, Venice (310-396-5122 or nitespa.com).

Dysmenorrhea and TCM

CAUSES
According to TCM theory, dysmenorrhea is usually caused by:

emotional factors, the invasion of the six exogenous pathogenic factors, and the stagnation of blood and qi;

or by retention of blood in the uterus due to liver depression and qi stagnation resulting from emotional upsets;

or by cold-dampness attacking the lower engergiser and lodging itself in utuerus (caused by walking in water or sitting on damp ground during menstration);

or by the constituional deficiency of qi and blood, or consumption of qi and blood due to serious illness;

or by congential defect or impairment of the liver and kidney, consumption of blood and malnutrition of the uterus due to multipary and excessive sexual activity.

The basic therapeutic priciple for treating dysmenorrhea is to regulate of qi, activate the blood, dissipate the cold, and clear the heat.

TREATMENTS
To get the blood and qi flowing, soothe the LV meridians, as this will regulate the qi and resolve stasis to stop the pain/ – Dong Quai (Radix Angelicas Sinensis [the mother of female herbs]) is helpful. As is ginger tea.

To disperse cold and to drain dampness, a full body massage concentrating on the warming meridians will help to eliminate stagnation. Cinnamon tea is good, as is Dong Quai.

To invigorate the blood, focus on strenghtening the SP meridians, as this will nourish the qi. Dong Quai is good, as is a mix of mint and chamomile tea.

To nourish the blood, focus on LV and KI, as this will replenish and enrich your essence (jing baby!). Dong Quai is good, as is ginger tea, and anything ‘good for the jing’.

Shiatsu Self-Treatment for Dysmenorrhea (and bonus TCM Sex tips!)

Here is a Shiatsu treatment pattern that you can easily perform on yourself or another.

Dysmenorrhea:

If dysmenorrhea or painful mentrual cramping, began in your teen years, with your early periods, it is refered to as Primary Dysmenorrhea. At this younger age, your hormones were excitedly blossoming, ready for womanhood and yr stress levels would have had a direct effect on hormonal production.

Postaglandins or ‘local hormones’ will most likely affect yr cramping. These hormones cause muscular contrations of the uterus, and when overstimulated, can spread throughout the pelvic organs, causing contractions in many areas. This is a result, mostly, of stress, shock, or trauma, which upset yr system.

When dysmenorrhea occurs later in life, it is known as Secondary dysmenorrhea, and diff factors require our consideration. Stress, of course, is not limited to our adolecence, and may very well affect us in our adult life. Also, you could be influenced by the use of contraception or and IUD, both of which can have detrimental effects.

Your hormonal system is influenced by the Kidney chi and is esp sensitive to fear andaxiety which distrub the free flow of yr chi. The Uterus and its environment are regulated by Liver and Spleen chi. The Liver chi is responsible for blood storage and regulation as well as the muscular contraction inpetus; and the Spleen chi, for the quality of the flesh of the uterus. Other factors influencing yr moon cycle would be the invasion of cold and damp into yr body. This may be an accumulative effect of foods such as sugars, caffeine, or dairy products, which all contribute to chi stagnation.

External factors such as climate and such can also be influential on yr protective energy (Wei Chi) and immune systems. Try to keep yr pelvis well-insulated with natural fibre clothing during the colder seasons. The ankles have a special relationship to yr reproductive system, so keep them warm too.

TREATMENT:

Apply presure to the following points: LV 3, SP 6/10, & ST 36. As well as CV 3, & LV 13/14. Massage the nipples, as they will stimuate the ovaries and uterus, and using yr fingertips, gently massage the area btw the pubic bone and navel.

*

Heat (Yang) is relaxing for the cramping contraction (Yin), so a hot-water bottle on yr abdomen helps to expel the symptoms of the Cold and Damp. Try to avoid stimulants, such as coffee, tabacco, sugar, and chemicalised foods, to allow yr system to repair.

*

Here are two exercises that can be used to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (mms) or ‘Ovarian Palace’. (It is also good as a sex improvement exercise, esp the second one which is kind of like a Chinese Kegel)

ONE:
This exercise strengthens yr LV and CV meridians, both of which pass through the vagina, cervix, and uterus. This area is refered to in Chinese as the ‘Gate of Life’ from which new life develops.

1.) Sit confortable in a chair, on the floor, or even lie down.
2.) Breathe into yr hara, by expanding yr abdominal mms, like a baloon filling, as u breathe in. On the exhalation, contract the those mms to flatten yr abs. Repeat thrice for relaxation.
3.) On the next inhalation, expand the mms while ‘pushing down’ on yr genitals – you will feel the pelvic floor respond. Pull up on the pelvic floor, as you exhale. Repeat thrice.
4.) Focus into yr vaginal mms and squeeze, lifting and releasing these mms 10 times in quick succession. Try another 10 reps until u feel warmth w/in yr vagina – this is an indication of improved blood flow.
5.) As you become experienced in this practice, you can ‘think’ yr way into yr vagina as you pull upwards and draw the chi into yr uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Feel the glowing warmth spread throughout yr pelvis.

TWO:

This is a useful exercise, relating to yr urinations, as yr urethra and bladder are part of yr genitourinary stystem. The excersise involves the controlling of the flow of urine.

1.) Start peeing, allowing 1/3 of the urine to pass and then squeeze yr vaginal pelvic floor mms until the flow stops for a moment. Then resume yr flow again.
2.) Repeat 2 or 3 times with each urination. W/ practice you will be able to completely stop yr flow at will – an indication of improved mm tone.

* Please NOTE: It is harmful to hold off urination for any length of times, as this strains yr bladder. Gt the toilet asap when you feel the need to pee.

These exercises will not only help to improve the pelvic floor mms for the regulation of menstration and better elimination, but also have the added benefit of allowing for more enjoyable sex, as you will have greater control of yr vaginal mms and may experience an enhanced intensity in yr orgasm.

Shiatsu Self-Treatment for PMT (PMS)

Premenstrual Tension (PMT) is a combination of various physical and emotional symptoms which occur in women one or two weeks before the onset of menstration.

For a long time PMT was thought to be a pychological condition women used to gain sympathy. Indeed even some dim-witted individuals still think this! However, it is recognised and defined as a ‘dis-ease’ and there are MANY theories about its cause. Obviously hormonal changes clearly influence PMT.

Another possible cause for PMT is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which is promoted by an unbalanced diet. Too much fat in yr diet puts pressure on yr liver, and excess salt promotes fluid retention, leading to bloating. If this is the case, it would be helpful for you to concentrate on establishing more regular eating habits. A good way to do this is to eat small meals throughout the day. Caffeine and sugar deplete yr body of the B vits needed to keep yr nervous system healthy and to stablise yr emotions. So try to exchange yr triple grande non-fat vanilla latte for herbal tea. (Chamomile and mint, blended together is also great for cramps!) Also, in my personal opionion remove meat, dairy, and eggs from yr diet alltogether.

Yet another cause for PMT might be an imbalance of postaglandins, causing the uterus to go into painful spasams (cramps). If there is an imbalace, yr circulation will slow down and you will feel chilly and exhausted w/ pain and numbness in yr hands and feet.

PMT is usually synonymous w/ mood swings, and the most common emotional symtoms include: irritability, tension, anger, depression, and sleepiness. It will often also affect yr self estem and you might feel low, lacking concentration and control of yr actions. Physical symptoms might inlude headache, backache, lower ab pain, and breast tenderness.

From the TCM viewpoint, PMT symptoms are a sign of blood and chi stagnation. Chi is the ‘commander’ of blood – when chi is stagnant, blood coagulates. This build up of tension w/in leads to all the diff symptoms listed above.

The organ in charge of ensuring a smooth chi flow throughout, is the Liver. Its influence extends all over the body, to yr intestines as well as yr uterus. Moreover, it has a great influence on yr emotional state: the smooth flow of Liver Chi ensures a ‘smooth flow’ of yr emotional life. So when you are walking around, feeling frustrated and angry, it is a sign that yr Liver Chi is stagnant. If the Liver is funtioning well, and its chi is flowing smoothly, yr emotional life will be happy and relaxed and your will find it easy to express yr emotions and feelings.

How do you get to this state of being and how can you stimulate yr liver engergy? Physical movemetn is any form is very beneficial, as the chi gets stagnated in the joints and tendons very easily. You can choose to do some stretching to activate yr LV meridian or dance to some music to release general stagnation. Kicking will help release tension in the hip area (an area which holds feelings like frustration and anger), as will hip rotations. Use yr voice to express yrself vocally in combo w. yr physical movements, create sounds to release inner tension and free up yr energy systems.

The Native Americas beleive that women are most relective and creative just prior to menstration, so this is the time of the month to give the artisitic part of u, a change to emerge and develop.

TREATMENT:

To disperse the Liver and regulate the chi, use the following points: GB 34, LV 3/13/14, TB 6, & HG 6.

Also:
1. Liver Meridian Release: GB 21 -> GB 29, 31, 34, 40 GB 40 -> 30
2. Ab Release: BL 23-> CV 14, 12, LV 14, ST 25 ST 25-> SP 13, GB 34, ST 36, SP 6, LV 3
3. Pelvic Release: BL 26 -> CV 6, SP 13, ST 30, BL 54 BL 54 -> BL 36, 40, SP 9, ST 36, SP 4

Important Golden points include: ST 25, 36, SP 6, 13, K 6.

During my treatments for PMT and dysmenorrhea, I use a lot of sacral points as well as sacral traction, and also use moxa to increase the point stimulation. [NOTE: only use live moxa if you have been properly trained.] For those w/o training there are moxa patches that can be applied like a bandaid, and are avail at most chinese pharmacies.

Another self technique that has proved to be helpful is activating those sacral points by sitting on yr hands. Put yr hands together, one on top of the other, and slide them (supine side up) under yr bum, so that the triangle shape of yr sacrum is matched by the trianglish shape of yr hands.

A Softer, Lighter Mind-Body: Trager Approach and Breast Cancer

The Trager “approach uses psychophysical integration to release deeply-held mind-body patterns, enhance relaxation, and bring the client into an awareness of ease within her body. For breast cancer patients in particular, Trager’s gentle, noninvasive touch provides a safe space for healing from the trauma of medical invasion and its residual effects and the imbalance brought about by the disease state. Mentastics, a form of self-care for clients, allows them to reinforce and expand changes initiated by bodywork through daily practice of specific body movements.”

Please do read this wonderful article here.

For more info on Trager and Breast Cancer: My Breast Cancer Story: One Illness, Two Women, Four Seasons.

For more info on Trager, pls visit Trager.com.

Shiatsu and Breast Health

A few shiatsu techniques for self and clients to generate good breast health.

1. Daily tune up.
—-Treatment: gently tap across the chest – using either using a loose fist or flat hand for confort – above and around the breasts and across the ribs. Massage your breasts (a good way to check for lumps and other irregularites), giving particular attention to the massaging of each nipple (Stomach [ST] 17 is located in the nipple), as this stimulates ovarian functions and is also good for regulating or improving lactation in breast feeding mothers. Do this exercise daily to help maintain better ovarian health, which will assist hormonal regulation.
—-ST17/nipple stim is also a key tool in releasing oxitonin to help stop uterine bleeding after childbirth. This is one reason why breastfeeding immediately is very important.

2. To ease breast tenderness during monthly menses cycle as well as early months or pregnancy.
—-Treatment : for relief, gently massage your breasts with circular movements and apply gentle pressure to the following points using palms or fingers: ST13, ST16, and K22. Also treat the ST meridian in the legs, releasing yr diaphragm and treat the points: ST25, CV 12, CV 14, LI 4, and BL 21.

3. Breast lumps and breast cancer preventative work.
Breast lumps are any mass, cyst or swelling that can be felt in the breast. It is very important that you perform a monthly self breast exam (SBE), to feel for any changes/irregularites, and check for nipple discharge. [Please see my other blog entitled ‘October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early Detection and Screening: The Self Breast Exam’ for more info] If you find any lumps or discharge, please do contact your doctor immediatley.
—-Treatment: as a lump or swelling is usually a sign of stagnation, it is recommended you treat the Liver Meridian, in the legs, focusing on L3/13/14. Gently massage your breasts and nipples and treat the points on the ST meridian: ST16/18. To improve circulation, treat the H meridians in the arm.
—-Lumps that are softer, tender, and not painful to touch, can come and go with the menses cycle, and are better after massage are due to Liver Chi stagnation. Lumps that are fixed and painful do not respond or the menses cycle are caused by blood stasis – an obstruction of blood, and requires medical advice.

4. Improving lactation.
Breastfeeding is important for maternal-child bonding, and will help to improve baby’s immune system, reduce the risk of allergies, as well as support the growth and development of yr child. Successful breastfeeding is dependant on yr ablility to produce a steady flow of milk. This treatment will ease yr frustrations and worries you might have and help to reduce the breast muscles.
—-Treatment: Use the following points in combination with a general soothing breast massage [pls see my other blogs on the the breast massage technique and the importance thereof]: SP18, L14, ST 13/16/17, HG 1, SI 11, and CV 17.
—-The realease of milk is stiumulated by the hormone oxytonin, which is in turn stimulated by, u guessed it, breast feeding. Encouraging you baby to suckle will, therefore, increase the ammount of milk you produce. Allow yrself enought time when feeding, as stress of anykind will negativley affect the production of milk. Caffeine is to be avoided, try mint tea instead! Yum!

5. Mastitis.
This occurs when infection enters the breast, usually through a cracked nipple. The breast will become hard, red, and tender. To avoid cracking, apply some calendula or vitamin E oil to your nipples and allow them to dry properly before putting on yr bra on after you have fed the baby. [more to come on nipple moisturisation at a later time]
—-Treatment: In oriental medical theory, this is a ‘hot disease’ and an excess condition. To help bring energy down in the body, massage your breasts and armpits; highlighting these points: ST18/36, GB21, LV3/14, SI 11 and good ol CV17.

****As this is October, Breast (Cancer Awareness) Month, I have only mentioned treatments and conditions for breast health. Pls do ask questions if you need assistance with point mapping or technique.

Breast Cancer: How Massage Aids Recovery

An interesting article on how women with breast cancer who received regular massage and the benefits they experienced. Please click here.

Regarding Breast Massage

Breast Wellness – Massage Deserves Attention
An article from one of the top teachers of breast massage in North America, Ms Debra Curties, R.M.T., on the importance of breast wellness and massage.Please do click here.

The Evolving Practice of Breast Massage
A wonderful article by Kate Jordan, LMT NCTMB, on “The Evolving Practice of Breast Massage”Please do click here.

Breast Massage for Better Health
“A discussion about using breast massage to improve lymph fluid and blood flow in the breasts, which may reduce the chances of breast cancer. Breast massage might be more than a relaxing, pleasurable experience, it may also be very good for your health. We begin with a discussion of an important study about bras and breast cancer which suggests that lymph fluid flow may be very important for healthy breasts, then provide details about breast massage in a question-and-answer format. “Please click here.

Self Breast Massage
An informative article on the importance of self breast massage, with illustrations. Easy to do! Please click here.

Here is some more info on massage therapy and breast cancer.
Massage Magazine Research: Massage Benefits Women with Breast Cancer
Massage Magazine Research: Massage Versus Relaxation for Breast Cancer
AMTA Journal: Mastectomy Massage, a Guide.
Massage and Bodywork Magazine: The Courage of Touch, [a] Massage & Cancer Story.

Ayurvedic Breast Massage

October is Breast Cancer Awarness Month!

Have you ever noticed the ad of a young girl, naked from the waist up, with a little pink ribbon of remembrance glued next to her nipple? I cannot remember anymore just when or where I saw it, but the feelings it brought up in me then which were strong to begin with, have only deepened over the course of time. Her body vulnerable, her eyes looking longingly, innocent yet tainted with fear and sadness haunt me.

Why, I ask myself, is this image so cleverly memorable? Is it because, like almost every person in North America, I have known, loved, and seen the passing of friends and relatives from breast cancer? Is it because my own Aunt had breast surgery three years ago and is still fighting the fear of recurrence and realizing her own mortality? Obviously, these impressions have affected me. But, the passion that has fueled my interest in breast care comes not entirely from looking at the past. Rather, it comes from the future. I plan to have children, daughters, and when I saw that picture, every cell in my body shouted that they will not be raised in the same ignorance and fear that has characterized the last twenty years of the so-say breast cancer epidemic. They also should not have to suffer monthly tenderness or mental contortions over breast size and shape that is also still very much with us. They have a right to feel fit, free, and fearless in their bodies especially in the parts that make them female.

Since seeing that picture and more particularly since my Aunt’s diagnosis and double masectomy my in the fall of 1996, I’ve studied as much as I could find about breast care. I have listened to and read the powerfully female views of Dr. Christine Northrup, read Michio Kushi’s macrobiotic opinions, and looked at the breast massage recommendations from a western perspective based on the work of Dr. Pelton and lymph drainage expert Dana Wyrich from San Diego. I have read with interest the current debate going on in the professional massage community about whether or not massage therapists should offer breast massage. There seems to be unanimous agreement that massage is especially useful both as a preventive measure, but also as an aid in treating general tenderness and even more serious conditions.

The information and opinions of all these experts creates a body of knowledge that is useful for all women, whether they want to maintain healthy breasts or want to help with their own healing process. As beauty and body care professionals, you touch and talk about breasts with your clients. In the spa industry we have an incredible, predominantly female network that I’ve found always hungry for information to help others. Whilst most massage therapists will touch breast tissue and very few of their schools will even include it in the curriculum, aestheticians are in unique position to offer this wonderful service. Here we are presenting a treatment protocol for use in the spa setting , but please use it for yourself, share it with your clients for their own home care, even make it the basis for an educational evening. To integrate all the information I gathered and for the main part of the hands on technique I turned to Ayurveda, the healing system of Ancient India. For in Ayurveda, I find a system that integrates all the dimensions of breast care I have studied into a simple, easy to use, and nurturing approach to positive breast care.

In terms of how to interest your clients in this service, I would suggest the same approach that has been proved effective with any new service.
• Educate your treatment staff thoroughly. Choose staff that feel totally comfortable with the service and believe in its benefits to give it.
• Have staff members receive the treatment — especially front desk staff because they are the ones recommending services and whose opinion is of the service is very often heard first
• Offer it as a special of the month, either in very high stress months or Breast Health awareness month
• Avoid Valentines time of year or any overly sexual connection in your publicity • Offer an education evening using handouts of information available in this article and do a demonstration so people can see exactly what they would be getting
• Always stress the benefits when ever and where ever the treatment is discussed — if possible tell of your personal experience or that of coworkers or friends
• Create a description of the service and a list a three benefits that is kept at the front desk to help with telephone inquiries
• Do not even think of offering the service if you have reservations about talking about it or feel it is not a good fit for current clients.

SUGGESTED DESCRIPTIONHelp yourself feel more comfortable and happy with your breasts. This traditional technique uses gentle strokes on the neck, subtle energy points on the chest and arm and finally a mindful anointing of the breast tissue with rich aromatic natural oils.

REPORTED BENEFITS
• dramatic easing of tenderness associated with monthly cycle
• more self confidence about the health of breast tissue
• feeling better about being female
• softening of scar tissues from implants
• improvement in shape and tone of the breasts
• feeling deeply and intimately nurtured

BARE FACTS
1. No breasts are perfectly symmetrical. Each pair will vary in shape and size in relation to each other.
2. Fibrous and fatty tissue in the breast is normal, even if it feels uneven as we say good-bye to child bearing years. Fibrocystic disease is a misnomer. Changes in breast texture are a part of growing older.
3. Eighty (80) percent of breast cancer patients have no family history of breast cancer.
4. Ninety (90) percent of breast lumps are not malignant nor cancerous. They should always be checked, of course.
5. Mammograms are tools for early detection, not prevention.
6. Most massage therapists are not trained in breast massage and/or will not do it because of the fear of sexual harassment suits. Most agree, however, that it is therapeutic and beneficial.
7. Breast cancer incidence leaped 50% when hydrogenated oils (i.e. margarine) became common in post World War II diets.
8. Renown naturopath Hazel Parcells observed that there was a strong correlation between the use of underarm deodorant sprays with aluminum-based compounds and breast cancer in the women she treated.

20 GOOD THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR BREASTS
1. Practice breast self massage as well as using the spa service. Touch your breasts gently and often using warmed oil, whilst in the shower or with your partner. The best choice in oil to use is Pomegranate Oil. If you cannot find a supplier for this, choose unrefined sesame oil.
2. Exercise regularly using movements that involve the shoulders and build torso and upper arm strength.
3. Wear comfortable, natural fiber (i.e. cotton) underwear. Bras that have under wires or that are strapless push the breast up and/or make red marks weaken supporting muscles and constrict lymph tissue and if worn regularly or for long periods will make the breasts sag and allow toxins to accumulate in your breast tissue.
4. Use underarm deodorant that is free of aluminum salts or other compounds. Aluminum is a heavy metal that can enter the blood and lymph systems through the skin and severely challenge the immune system.
5. Avoid hydrogenated fats like margarine and vegetable shortening. (Be aware that these products are in many store-bought crackers, cakes, and cookies – even health-store brands.) Use olive, peanut, sunflower, or sesame oils in cooking and butter or – better still – clarified butter (ghee) on bread.
6. Eat a vegetaroan diet with little or no saturated or mono-saturated fats, refined sugars, dairy products, meats, and caffeine and HIGH in whole grains (i.e. brown rice, oats, barley) , green and orange vegetables (i.e. carrots, squashes, kale, broccoli, cabbage, etc.).
7. Eat soy-based products, such as soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. Just a little regularly helps block the tendency for breast tissues to bond with extra estrogens that can cause disruptions in healthy functioning of breast tissue.
8. Choose to eat organically raised foods and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Many synthetic chemicals (including what is found in fertilizers, pesticides. germicides) mimic hormones and cause physical and emotional havoc in body and mind.
9. Use supplements such as vitamins E, C, and B-complex as well as minerals. Eat mineral-rich sea vegetables or take mineral supplements particularly when your stress level is high.
10. Use hormone-free contraception. Avoid long-term use of the pill and synthetic hormone therapies when possible. A number of natural alternatives to hormone therapies are emerging on the market.
11. Expose your breasts to sun and moon light. Remember how good it feels to experience the sun, sea, and air on the rest of your body. Find topless beaches or in the privacy of your back yard! Women go topless in the parks of Copenhagen. Could this ever happen in Central Park?
12. Sleep in complete darkness. Your body gets deeper, more healing sleep in the dark of night. 13. Color TVs, microwave ovens, and computer screens emit radiation that can damage tissue. How long are your breasts in front of our close to a computer or TV screen daily? Use shielded computer display terminals and try to keep a good distance between you and your TV. And, don’t stand right next to your microwave. (As regards cooking, you get more usable nutrition from using your oven or stove compared to a microwave.)
14. Enjoy nurturing yourself. It is not self-indulgent or kinky to massage your breasts and/or pamper yourself with a massage or your favorite spa treatment. It is a needed survival skill.
15. Have a good cry when you need one. Feelings of grief and loneliness, if unacknowledged and/or allowed to linger, are just as toxic as DDT.
16. Send positive messages to your breasts. One patient of Dr. Christine Northrup who was recovering from breast cancer says before she leaves for work daily, “Come on girls. You’re safe with me.” Banish the view that are breasts are time bombs. Stride out in confidence.
17. Adopt positive female role models. Have beautiful female images to look upon at home and at work.
18. Be complimentary to yourself about what you like about your body and compliment others as well. Overcome the cultural stereotypes that imprison us and our view of others. According to Ayurveda, each body type has its own, unique beauty. Seek that out in yourself and become it.
19. A noted spiritual teacher and friend of mine. Lama Ole Nydahl says that “Every atom vibrates with joy and is held together by love.” Love most of what you do in the day and see the humor in what you don’t. Put your heart into work and relationships.
20. Sensuality and sexuality are not opposed to or the enemy of spirituality. Celebrate the sensuality of your body!

GOALS FOR BREAST MASSAGE
1. Mobilize the lymphatic system
2. Prevent or reduce adhesions and/or scar tissue
3. Reduce pain and tenderness
4. Relieve breast discomfort, both physical and emotional, that is associated with the monthly cycle
5. Reduce the risk of stretch marks during pregnancy, breast feeding, or weight gain
6.To build a positive, loving, and sensual relationship with the female qualities of our bodies

(Please note: Women who discover breast lumps, experience a lot of tenderness, have a lot of fibrocystic tissue or have had breast surgery for any reason should consult with their health care provider before receiving this technique regularly, or using for self care on a daily basis.)

AYURVEDIC BREAST MASSAGE

Ayurvedic massage for women has always included extensive work on the breast area. This is done not only as a means to beautify the breast, encourage a delightful shape and for greater comfort but also for deeper therapeutic reasons. Ayurveda like a number of oriental healing traditions teaches that massage over and around breast tissue improves or helps maintain health in all parts of female reproductive tissue as well as assisting in hormonal balancing.

Like many Ayurvedic massage techniques, this breast-touching technique relies on a combination of modalities; the use of herbal oil, stimulation of marma points, and gentle strokes. The traditional oils are most beneficial for the breasts are either Pomegranate Oil or Shatavari Ghee. Most women I have worked with prefer the Pomegranate Oil with its thick, slightly stimulating warmth and light sensuous aroma of amber — an Indian essential oil blend traditionally used on breast tissue. Marma points are traditional vital energy points that act as switches between our conscious intention and the innate healing capabilities of our body. They are used to stimulate both the nourishment and cleansing of any tissue. The massage strokes one uses are applied as strongly as one would pet a cat and are intended to activate the lymphatic system. Together, the points and strokes on the breast tissue itself help mobilize toxins, fats, and the collection of excess subtle energies and hormones, which are then carried away via the lymph system, allowing for increased blood flow with fresh nutrients to revitalize the breast tissue. Strokes around the tissues, on the neck and above, below and to the sides of the breasts further support this action. My own experience (and corroborated by friends and clients) tells me that this technique helps my breasts feel more comfortable, look more beautiful, and gives me a calm confidence and a feeling of liking myself as a woman. Before you begin tell the client exactly where and how they are going to be touched. This should be reassuring so you can both relax. An eye pillow can help the client to let go and focus within.

STEP ONE — Turn the clients head slightly to the left, place the right hand over the region behind the right earlobe. Touch the marma called karna just behind the ear lobe, moving in little clockwise circles five times. Then stroke down the right side of the neck down to point (arshak) on the top surface of the right collarbone where it joins the breast bone, applying light rotational pressure to this ending point. Repeat four more times. Now turn the head to the right and repeat the same procedure on the left side using the left hand.

STEP TWO — Turn the clients head slightly to the left, use the right thumb to press down toward the clients toes working long the top surface of the right collar bone from the breast bone out to the tip of the right shoulder. Repeat twice more then turn the head to the right and repeat the same touch technique on the left side. If your client is pregnant, apply this technique using very gentle touch especially at the shoulder tips.

STEP THREE — Again working on first the right side then the left use the flat of your thumb using clockwise rotational pressure to touch in the hollow space behind the collar bone, starting again from the breast bone and moving up along the tops of the shoulders. This helps the body relax and combats fatigue. The looser we keep our shoulders the less likely we are to pick up any “problems” physically or mentally.

STEP FOUR— Starting under the right arm, press gently into the deep hollow of the armpit and apply clockwise rotational pressure into apalapa marma. For greater client comfort support the arm at the elbow. Do this 3, 5, or 7 times. Repeat on the left side. This point activates the lymph system in the upper torso and releases tension around the shoulders and arms. In our photos we have undraped the client so you can see the points more clearly. You can touch each of these points over the sheets normally.

STEP FIVE — Touch the point four finger widths below the top of the breast bone, approximately a half-inch below the sternal angle. Press and release this point (hridayam marma) in a gentle, pumping action 3, 5, or 7 times. Using your index or middle finger. This point allows us to more joyfully connect with our body and the world around us.

STEP SIX — In the same way you touched Hridayam in STEP FIVE, find the point that is approximately one and a half inches below and to the right of hridayam. This point, known as adasthambha marma, balances energy in the lungs and helps the body let go of grief and sadness. Emotions which often dominant in clients that have issues concerning breast tissue.

STEP SEVEN — Locate a point that is midway on the sternum, roughly at the level of the nipples. Apply gentle clockwise rotational pressure to this marma, also known as hridayam, and then proceed down the remainder of the sternum with circular massage strokes. This helps to alleviate depression.The picture shows the third of these three points being touched.

STEP EIGHT — Using ½ teaspoon of Pomegranite Oil or Shatavari Ghee per breast, use your right hand to apply the oil on the right then the left breast.

STEP NINE — Stroke over the topside of the breast with flat of your hand, moving from the breastbone towards the armpit, using the pressure you would use to pet a cat. Repeat four more strokes. Next stroke similarly this time under the breast ending as before ending the stroke in the deepest part of the arm pit, again five strokes total. Be sure to touch every part of the breast. Pay particular attention to the outer upper quadrant of each breast as this is the most common area for problems to arise. Remember to end each stroke at the armpit. Stroke five times over then five times under the breast then repeat on the left side using your left hand. Arrange the sheets to expose one breast at a time. Stand at the corner of the table and support the arm at the elbow to avoid discomfort in the shoulder.

STEP TEN — Do twenty one strokes in a figure eight pattern over the breast tissue itself following the pattern of the infinity symbol — this is done by starting in the middle of the chest, moving up and over the right breast, down and around and under the right breast then up and over the left breast, down and around and under the left breast coming back to the middle of the chest. Keep your own shoulders relaxed and project positive thoughts towards your client. The movement should cover the outer portion of the breast and the tissues just slightly above, below, and to the sides of each breast, allow the movement to get gradually smaller, working towards the nipples so the whole surface of the breast is touched. Massage to the area directly below the breasts stimulates blood circulation. Massage to the portion of the breasts below the nipple increases sensuousness and a sense of self-confidence. All in all, this step helps maintain a pleasant shape to the breasts.

STEP ELEVEN — Pull the nipples, using gentle pressure between the thumb and index fingers. Nipple stimulation excites the finest capillaries and lymph tissue in this area of the breasts. If you don’t feel comfortable with this step tell the client this is something they should do for themselves at home. This is optional, but is useful as a recommendation to clients for self care.

STEP TWELVE — Repeat the massage of apalapa marmas as in STEP FOUR to work gently into the deepest part of the armpit.

TO CLOSE— Rest your left hand on the top of the client’s head and the finger tips of the right hand in the middle of the chest. Let your hands and mind rest there for a minute to end the treatment.