What are the benefits of breast massage

Breast Massage: Benefits, How To, For Breastfeeding

Breast massage is a tool that you can use for many purposes, from detecting breast cancer to relieving muscle soreness, to improving your breastfeeding experience. Just 15 minutes of massage can be enough to reap the benefits.

You can do breast massage on yourself. There are very few risks involved, so you can do it as often as you want. Here's more about why you want to massage your breasts, how to do it, and when you might want to see your doctor.

Why do women massage their breasts?

1. Breastfeeding women

There is a growing body of research to suggest that breast massage may have many benefits for women who are breastfeeding.

For example, in one study, a group of new breastfeeding mothers received two 30-minute breast massages in the 10 days after giving birth. Compared to the control group who did not receive the massage, these mothers had less chest pain while breastfeeding.

Not only that, but their babies were breastfeeding more, and the milk itself was less sodium.

In a 2004 study, researchers found that breast massage greatly increased the quality of breast milk when done in the first year after giving birth. The parts of the milk that improved with the massage included:

  • Solids
  • Lipids
  • Casein concentration
  • Gross energy

Most of the benefits were seen between the first day and 11 months after giving birth. The only property of milk that was not changed in either the early or late lactation period was its lactose content.

Massage can also help improve milk flow. An older study from 1994 suggests that the combination of sucking and massaging both empties the milk ducts and promotes the production of more milk.

Massage can also help prevent and treat problems such as constipation, clogged milk ducts, or mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue.

2. Early detection of breast cancer

Breast self-exams and massages are ways to detect early-stage breast cancer. According to one study, about 25 percent of women discover their breast cancer through self-examination. Another 18 percent discover cancer by chance.

Detecting cancer early on can improve your outcome, so making it a part of your normal routine is a good idea.

3. Improved bust

Some people try breast massage as a way to improve the appearance of sagging breasts. The belief is that you can increase the flow of blood to the breast tissue through massage. Others use specific oils like olive oil to improve the skin's firmness and elasticity.

Most of the evidence for this is anecdotal. But in one study, researchers discovered that striae gravidarum - better known as stretch marks - can be prevented by massaging the skin with oil.

As part of the study, pregnant women were asked to either apply bitter almond oil to their bodies without a massage or to massage their bodies with the almond oil for 15 minutes a day.

At the end of the study, the women who used the oil and massage together had fewer stretch marks. The almond oil alone didn't bring much benefit.

4. Lymphatic system

Your breast tissue extends to the area under your armpit. There are many lymph nodes in this part of the body, and massage can help stimulate your lymphatic system.

Your lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins from your body. If you've had surgery on your lymph nodes, a buildup of waste fluids called lymphedema may occur. You can also call this type of breast massage manual lymphatic drainage.

According to research, more than one in five breast cancer patients develops lymphedema. Symptoms include swelling in your arm, chest, or chest. It is usually a result of surgery or radiation.

Standard treatment often uses compression to reduce swelling.

A 2004 study looked at the combination of bandaging and massage to treat breast-related lymphedema. Researchers found that adding massages showed more marked improvement than just linking them.

Even if you don't have lymphedema, breast massage can help rid your body of toxins trapped in the lymphatic system.

5. Sore muscles

If you are feeling sore, chest massage can also help release tension in your chest muscles. These muscles are called your chest muscles. Perhaps you participate in activities, exercises, or sports that put strain on these muscles.

The chest muscles are triangular in shape and lie under the breasts. If you develop tension in your back, you can compensate for this by tightening your chest muscles.

A massage on the chest can lead to more lasting relaxation than a back massage alone. In fact, if you've just massaged your back, your brain will still feel tension in your chest when your session is over.

As a result, the brain can send tension back to the back to rebalance the forces in the two areas of the body.

How to do breast massage

The massage method you use may differ depending on the benefits that you expect.

For lactation

There isn't necessarily a right or wrong way to massage your breasts for lactation. The massage can be used with or without hand expression. Hand expression is the use of the hand to remove breast milk, not by pumping or breastfeeding.

Follow these steps:

  1. Focus on one breast at a time. Place four fingers of one hand on the top of the chest and four fingers of the other hand on the bottom. Massage in a circular pattern. This can feel best when your hands are warm.
  2. Move your attention to the sides of your breasts and continue in a circular pattern. You may even want to make fists with your hands and gently roll or knead your chest.
  3. Try tapping and massaging your breasts with your fingertips as well.
  4. To express by hand, position your index finger behind the base of your nipple. Bring your fingers together while gently applying pressure to the breast, pressing the milk to the nipple, and squeezing (removing) the breast milk. Adjust your position as needed. Press rhythmically, to the beat of a heartbeat.
  5. The hand expressions before and after pumping can also help you empty your breasts.

For cancer detection

When examining your breasts for signs of cancer, it's important to remember that your breast actually extends below your armpit. Don't forget to examine the entire breast, including your nipple, areola, and this extensive area.

While you're at it, tell your partner to let you know about any lumps or bumps they're feeling too.

Follow these steps:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror and do a visual inspection of your breasts. Pay attention to any size difference, color change, or shape difference. Put your hands on your sides, then on your hips, and then over your head to see from different angles.
  2. While you are still looking in the mirror, put one hand behind your head and place three fingers on your chest. Move your fingers over your breast tissue in small circles. Apply light, medium, and hard pressure as you walk your fingers to cover all areas.
  3. Move your fingers to the area under the armpit and continue making small circles as your fingers go along.
  4. Repeat the massage on the other breast.
  5. Finish your massage by squeezing each nipple to check for discharge or pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.

For the look of the chest

Again, there are few formal studies to suggest that breast massage changes the appearance of the breasts. Still, there is some evidence that massaging the breasts with oil can help prevent stretch marks, at least in pregnant women. It can also be beneficial in other ways.

Researchers recommend starting the massage with almond oil at the beginning of pregnancy for 15 minutes a day. Only 20 percent of the women who did this therapy developed stretch marks.

In the control group, 41 percent of women had stretch marks, so this method reduced the incidence by half.

For lymph drainage

Lymphatic drainage begins with the axillary area under the arms. Here you can feel your lymph nodes under your skin.

The massage continues by moving up clockwise on the right chest and to the left on the left chest. This mimics the direction of the lymphatic system.

A practitioner can use both hands to gently apply pressure all the way around the chest and armpit in light strokes. After the circle is complete, your practitioner can use both hands to pump the chest inward several times.

You can also try this type of massage yourself. You can even feel the knots drain under your touch. If you have recently had surgery or other problems, it may be best to leave this type of massage to the professionals.

For muscle tension

The massage of the breasts and pectoral muscles is similar but slightly different. The nipple is often involved in breast massage. This is not the case when massaging the pectoral muscles.

When dealing with the chest muscles, a massage therapist can focus more on the three areas where these muscles are attached to the body. While you may be able to release tension on your own, a licensed massage therapist will be able to better manipulate your muscles for the greatest relief.

If you feel uncomfortable having this area massaged by a stranger, understandable. A professional should let you know first if they plan to massage your chest and then ask for your consent. Breast massage is not a normal part of professional massage.

For people with ailments who need help with lymph damage, tell your doctor about your breast massage plans.

Are there any risks?

There aren't many risks associated with massaging your breasts.

If you've had breast cancer or surgery on your breasts, you can be careful around any lumps, scars, or areas that have recently received radiation. In these cases, it may be best to get a breast massage from a licensed massage therapist.

If you suspect you have mastitis, make an appointment with your doctor. Massage can help, but you may also need medication to clear the infection.

Mastitis often develops in the first few months after giving birth. Other symptoms can include fever, pain, swelling, and chills.

Breast massage can relieve a number of conditions, from blocked milk ducts to sore muscles. It can even save your life. It is generally safe to try chest massage on your own.

However, if you are dealing with specific medical problems, it may make more sense to consult a professional for regular care. 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.