Practice breast self-massage or ask your partner to do it for you.
How do you take care of your lymphatic circulation?
The job of lymphatic fluid, or lymph, is to carry proteins, foreign particles, bacteria, viruses, and wandering cancer cells away from the fluid that bathes the body’s cells. The lymphatic fluid with its debris is drawn into a thin fabric of very small tubules that empty into larger tubes called lymphatic vessels.
The lymphatic vessels are a one-way transport system that can easily get clogged up when there is an excess of debris and not enough movement through the cleansing stations. (Like dishes on the counter waiting to be washed). This is when you notice that you have a swollen lymph node. There is more debris in the lymph node than the white blood cells can handle at that particular time. The debris is most often linked to a bacterial or viral infection, the presence of toxins, or cancer.
The axillary (underarm) lymph nodes are strategically placed close to our breasts. As long as our breasts and armpits move, we will circulate the lymphatic fluid around them so that effective cleansing can occur. How do you make sure your breasts jiggle and move each day? There are many ways to do this, the simplest being daily exercise. You can also massage your breasts, or have someone else do it for you, to stimulate the lymph.
Breast self-massage helps to stimulate lymphatic circulation to remove toxins from our breasts. Here is a simple description:
- Stroke your neck, moving the skin back and down towards collarbone (15x)
- Gently pump the armpit with your palm under the underarm area (15x)
- Using the flat surface of 3 or 4 fingers, softly make small semi-circles around the outer part of your breast, gently working inward to the areola
- Gently pull the breast away from the chest wall while cupping it in your hand, moving the breast in a circular or up and down movement (allows lymph fluid to drain out through external lymph vessels in the axilla)
- If you do find a lump, do not massage it – consult with your health care professional; 80% of all breast lumps are benign
Follow along with our more detailed breast self-massage video guided by Julia Forest RMT and demonstrated by Whitnee Denard.
Take the Breast Health Challenge!
Practice breast self-massage this week and take a photo or make a video after you’ve finished, and post on your Facebook page, Youtube or Instagram with the hashtag #breasthealthchallenge between Oct 1-31. Challenge your friends to do the same.
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Let’s share what works!
For upcoming Healthy Breast Programs see http://mammalive.net/upcoming-courses/