HOW TO PREVENT SAGGING BREASTS
Ever heard of breast massaging? This known but neglected practice can be performed all on your own everyday, at night, or in your free time. If you’re worried about your breasts beginning to sag, or you’re already struggling due to breast size or aging, we’ll be discussing how to give yourself this unique form of TLC for overall well-being!
Ladies, it happens to the best of us at some point, right? We reach a certain age, or a certain breast size, and down they go! Many of us just accept sagging breasts as a part of life, but, if you know what to do, that doesn't always have to be the case.
Our founder Jazmin Alvarez recently took a trip to Italy where she learned about various Italian beauty secrets. Apparently, Italian women are known for having firmer breasts than any other ethnic group of women in the world. Why is that you might be asking? Many believe it is due to a practice known as self breast massage.
WHAT IS A BREAST MASSAGE?
This ancient healing ritual can be traced back through several different cultures and, as a result, is done in several different ways. Today, companies sell breast firming oil products, though the most popular natural oil to use amongst Italians is still good ol’ olive oil. The goal remains the same, however: to help maintain healthy, perky breasts.
During a breast massage, such strokes as effleurage and kneading are performed, using varying amounts of mild to moderate pressure in gentle lifting and compressive movements. When done properly, self breast massages are about more than just rubbing your chest, though. It takes a holistic approach to wellness; this means, over time, regular breast massaging can be used to rid the area of toxins, check for disease, and even teach self-love!
TECHNIQUES: HOW TO PREVENT SAGGING BREASTS
We want to begin this section by making sure to mention that there is nothing wrong with having sagging breasts. All bodies are beautiful and aging is not something to be feared but celebrated. But, if you do find yourself wanting the girls to sit a bit higher naturally, or you’re interested in learning more about this special form of self-care, then self-breast massage might be the perfect tool for you.
Now, here are a few ways various cultures around the world practice self breast massage to help prevent sagging breasts:
For approximately 5000 years, the people of the country of India have practiced Ayurvedic therapy. It is likely that this type of therapy first emerged in 3,000 B.C.E., when it was used as part of a natural system of healing. In the thousands of years since then, it has become a staple and tool of holistic health, helping individuals find greater harmony when their mental, spiritual, and physical lives are out of balance. One important element of Ayurvedic therapy is called abhyanga, which translates to “oil massage”.
A rhythmic, light touch massage using large amounts of warm herbal oil, abhyanga is the most well-known and commonly exercised form of Ayurvedic massage. It is meant to increase feelings of relaxation, stability, and peace, and daily rituals are recommended. Although this tradition includes massaging the breasts, it also focuses on the entire body. For the breasts specifically, the tissue is gently pressed in circular motions.
During abhyanga, balance is eventually restored to your dosha, or Ayurvedic body type. The three main doshas are Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. It is believed that doshas are responsible for differences in personalities, body types, and physical and mental characteristics. The delicate balance between the doshas can be disturbed by external and internal forces, such as stress and weather. At home, you can easily carry out an abhyanga massage by anointing your body with dosha-specific oils.
Other Ayurvedic massage techniques include gandharva, a treatment that incorporates sound therapy, and shirodhara, where a stream of warm oil is directly applied to the third eye chakra.
(We’ve already touched a bit on the benefits of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian philosophical and medical system, in hair care during our interview with the founders of Shaz & Kikz last summer. If you have not had a chance to read our discussion yet, click here.)
TAOIST BREAST MASSAGE (CHINA)
Taoism, also known as Daoism, is a religion and philosophy from ancient China that has influenced its people and national belief. Taoism has been connected to the philosopher Lao Tzu, who between 400 and 500 B.C.E. wrote the main book of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching. The title roughly translates to “the way of integrity”, and its 81 verses serve as an exposition on how to live in the world with goodness and integrity.
Breast massages are included in practices of Taoist Neidan Inner Alchemy. The “Taoist” part refers to certain Taoist principles and techniques, meaning this massage is not only focused on resolving physical health issues, but on relaxation, pleasure, and achieving mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being as well. The “Neidan” part consists of the root words Nei and Dan, with Nei meaning inside or inner and Dan meaning elixir or alchemy. Together, Neidan combines theories derived from Chinese external alchemy (Waidan), cosmology, symbols of the I Ching (Book of Changes), medical theory, Taoist meditation and exercises, and sexual practices. The main goals of Taoist Neidan Inner Alchemy are to prolong life, promote healing, circulate sexual energies, and return to the unity of the Tao; that is, becoming an immortal spiritual being.
To begin a Taoist breast massage on your own, rub the hands together with or without oil to warm them. Then, gradually rub them around the breast in upward and outward circles. The circuit of this massage should be breasts going towards the face and then towards the breast outline. Repeat movement at least 36 times in both directions, upward and downward. All this should be done while maintaining light pressure application; otherwise, pain can ensue.
(The Intimate Collection: Body Oil, No. 1 by Zoe Organics is the perfect natural oil combo for awakening sexual energies.)
SWEDISH SELF-BREAST MASSAGE (SWEDEN)
The true father of Swedish massage therapy is actually quite the controversial topic. Many believe it was Dutch doctor Johann George Mezger who, around 1868, passed his doctoral exam with a dissertation on ‘The Treatment of Distorio Pedis with Frictions’. The techniques he developed would go on to serve as the basis for what we know today as Swedish massage; these include effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration.
However, some literature credits Per Henrik Ling, a general medical practitioner during the 19th century, with the discovery. Rather than the use of massage alone, though, Ling has received more credit for his use of stretching or calisthenics. He believed that vigorous massage could bring about healing by improving the circulation of the blood and lymphatic system.
The Swedish self-breast massage is a therapeutic combination of Swedish massage and lymphatic drainage. It is a very detailed process that takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. The goal is to promote the circulation and drainage of toxins in breast tissue, and it can be used to treat or reduce such conditions as edema, musculoskeletal dysfunction, and scar tissue adhesions. Follow these steps to give yourself a Swedish breast massage at home:
- Massage your upper shoulders and neck to relax the shoulder muscles.
- a. With fingers together and a flat palm, move the skin of your neck back and down towards your collarbone. (5x) b. Crossing your arms, gently press into the space behind your collar bones with your index and middle fingers and release. (5x)
- With fingers together and a flat palm, gently pump your armpit by pressing into the tissue and releasing. (5 pumps repeat 3x on each side)
- Using the flat surface of 4 fingers, softly make small 3 semi-circles in an upward direction on the side of your ribs and repeat moving upwards from the base of the breast to your armpit. (1-3 x)
- Warm a small amount of oil in the palm of your hands. Gently massage from your breastbone moving towards the nipple with flat fingers. For women with larger breasts, support the outer part of your breast with the opposite hand.
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- Gently massage from underneath your breast towards the nipple with long strokes or semicircles.
- Massage with light pressure from the side of your breasts towards your armpit.
- Gently pull the breast away from the chest wall while cupping it in your hand. Move the breast up and down and from side to side to release any restrictions in the tissue.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY SELF BREAST MASSAGE
There are many more to choose from but no matter which way you do it, every woman should practice self-breast massage routine. Why?
Well for starters, did you know that the breasts are the most tumor-prone organ in the human body? In fact, they can soak up known toxins in their tissues originating from everyday items like personal care products, sunglasses, rubber gloves, faux leather, and even car seats! With breasts being so crucial to early childhood development and, later on, to sexual identity and self-image, not to mention being adjacent to the emotional and spiritual center of the body (the heart), we cannot afford to let these toxins stick around.
There are so many other breast massage benefits, including circulation improvement, more abundant and free-flowing milk production, reduction in the appearance of stretch marks, breast enlargement, sore muscle relief, and more!
NATURALLY HEALTHY BREAST TIPS
In addition to massage, breast health can also be maintained naturally through things like nutrition, lifestyle changes, and exercise. Below are a few simple ways to prioritize the health of your breasts everyday.
1. EAT YOUR VEGGIES
High fiber foods are always great for when you need a quick body detox. Studies have shown that women whose diets are high in vegetable-based fiber, specifically, have lower rates of breast cancer, especially the cruciferous vegetables. A few examples are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. If you think this method will work best for you, try to eat 3 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables every day.
2. INCLUDE OLIVE OIL IN YOUR DIET
Remember how I mentioned Italian women being known for having the firmest breasts? Well it turns out that studies done on Italian, Greek, and Spanish women concluded that if they include olive oil in their diet on a daily basis, then their breast cancer rates were 25 percent lower than women who ate less or no olive oil. While it is not certain whether it is the mono-unsaturated fat or some other property of the oil which is responsible, it tastes great and can be used for salads, sautés, soups, casseroles, frying, basting, or on bread as a tasty butter substitute.
(Add olive oil to your body care regimen, too, with the Ayour Toning Body Serum from MŪN - a botanical blend that brightens, tightens, and smooths the skin!)
3. KEEP ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION MODERATE
Besides consuming bad fats, another heavily studied factor that increases breast cancer rates is drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages. On the flip side, a small amount of red wine, dark beer, or ale on a regular basis has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Either way, you should avoid drinking too much alcohol at any one time as best you can.
4. FIND A WAY TO RELEASE STRESS
Speaking of activities people use to relax, one of the best things a woman can do for her breast (and overall) health is to find a way to release stress on a daily basis. Whether that be through yoga, meditation, going for a run, or another relaxing activity, it is important not to hold onto stress or frustration for too long. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), leaving feelings like these unresolved can play a big role in the development of all types of breast diseases, both benign and malignant.
OILS THAT HELP PREVENT SAGGINESS
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 essential oils with connections to the prevention of saggy breasts or the retention of firm breasts. If you are planning on trying self-breast massage, any of the following will make excellent choices.
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- Olive - enhances breasts and makes skin softer
- Almond - provides deep nourishment to breast tissues that enhances their overall health
- Fenugreek - provides the quickest results with massage (just four weeks!)
- Coconut - can eliminate stretch marks and strengthens breast tissue
- Lavender - nurtures breast tissue and firms up the skin when mixed with tea tree oil
- Jojoba - the best breast massage oil because it has similar properties to sebum on the skin
- Emu - has fatty acids similar to skin cells that help perforate deep into seven layers of the dermis
- Primrose - effectively supplies nutrients to breast tissues when mixed with Vitamin E
- Flaxseed - contains omega - 3 fatty acids which keep you safe from breast cancer and improves blood circulation in the breast tissues
- Wheat Germ - moisturizes, fights aging symptoms, and enhances breasts
DOES BREAST SIZE MATTER?
Oils can help to tighten the skin, but what if you have large breasts? Is self-breast massage still beneficial?
If you need lift, you should also consider building up your pectoral muscles in addition to massage. The stronger and leaner your upper body is the higher the girls will sit. It will also help with any neck pain you likely experience.
Bringing a life into the world is one of the most beautiful things about it, but it can also put immense strain on your changing body, especially the breasts. The effects of pregnancies can last a lifetime, but making time when you can for a self-breast massage can still be helpful.
If you’ve developed stretch marks during pregnancy, regular breast massages with almond oil early on can help you out later. Coconut oil can also enhance their overall health, as it has breast tissue strengthening properties. Additionally, even the subtle scent of coconut is good for you, balancing hormones and calming the senses.
Every second of every day, we are all aging. That means whether your chest sags due to larger size or getting older, you can still reap many of the benefits above of a breast massage, at home or from a qualified professional.
WHY ISN’T SELF BREAST MASSAGE MORE POPULAR?
Given the private nature of the area, it may be because most people are uncomfortable having a breast massage done or talking about what they’ve done for themselves with others. After all, word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing. Nonetheless, it is important that we continuously share the history and the benefits of this powerful and empowering tradition so it will not be forgotten and can continue to bring healing to those who need it.
Another possible reason could be the fear of what could be uncovered when checking your breasts yourself. Self-breast exams, for instance, are recommended but they can also cause stress to the one performing it, especially if there is a history of breast-related diseases in the family. This could cause someone to go about it too quickly or avoid doing it all together. If you are ever uncomfortable performing your own at-home breast exam, please seek help from your doctor, and if you are over 40 years of age, please continue to receive regular mammograms and breast cancer screenings, even if symptoms are not evident.
We so often regard breasts for their sexual and maternal functions alone that we forget they are just as important and deserving of care as any other part of our bodies. Not only can self-massage help connect you to your inner sensual goddess, but it can also stimulate healthy lymph nodes and blood flow to the mammary glands! Most full body massages for women do not include the chest area, so it is important that you take your wellness into your own hands as much as possible and make sure your entire vessel is cared for properly.