Why Lymphatic Breast Massage is Important to Your Overall Health!
What is Lymphatic Breast Massage?
Lymphatic Breast Massage are specific, gentle massage techniques that are applied to the breast tissues in a systematic fashion to enhance both lymph and blood flow through and out of the breast tissue. This helps to improve not only the health of the breast tissue but also helps to promote better breathing thus increasing the oxygen levels in the blood and tissue and this strengthens the immune system.
What are the indications for breast massage?
The following are some of the indications for Lymphatic Breast Massage:
- Painful breasts
- Discomforts of pregnancy
- General drainage problems (family tendency, large breasts, etc.)
- Premenstrual congestion
- Tenderness and congestion related to benign conditions and changes associated with involution
- Diagnostic procedures and recent surgeries:
- Symptomatic relief & promotion of good quality scarring
- Breast trauma) e.g. being hit with a soccer ball)
- Restrictive, Adhered, Poorly oriented scars
- Reduction of pectoralis major tone following sub-muscular implant placement
- Discomforts related to cancer treatments
- Integration of post-surgical changes
- Helping the client become comfortable with her body
- Education in self-examination and self massage
- Client request for breast massage
- Client has a personal goal of becoming more comfortable with her breasts and having them touched
- Client wants assistance in breast monitoring
What are the contraindications for lymphatic breast massage?
The following are some of the indications that lymphatic breast massage should not be done:
- Lactational mastitis
- Post surgical infection
- Current active infection for any reason
- Specific on-site work at the location of an undiagnosed lump
- Specific on-site work at the location of an abscess
- Use of closed capsulotomy or other forceful techniques attempting to reduce implant-related contracture
- Direct pressure on implanted breast manifesting a distorted contour
- Implanted breast with submuscular placement manifesting lateral breast and subscapular pain (possible serratus anterior rupture)
- Client cannot, for whatever reason, clarify her wishes and comfortable boundaries
- Therapist cannot, for whatever reason, establish professional boundaries or neutrality
- Client and therapist cannot, for whatever reason, establish open communication
- Client does not give consent or withdraws consent
The breast is a specialized gland structure which grows essentially as an appendage of the skin. It sits on top of the Retromammary Space which sits directly on top of the Pectroralis Major. It is encased in Superficial Fascia with Ligaments of Cooper going through the breast attaching the anterior (superficial) Superficial Fascia to the posterior (deep layer of) Superficial Fascia and giving it integrity and support as well as helping to shape it’s contours. Wi9thin the breast are lobes which are composed of a series of Lobules which are the structures that produce milk. The milk flows from the Lobules into Ductules which in turn flow towards the Nipple, stopping to collect behind the Lactiferous Sunus. With the proper stimulus, the milk is released to flow out the nipple. Between the Lobes and filling out the breast contour is Fat, which is the major component of the breast. From the age of usually 35 on, through a process called Involution, the Lobes are gradually turned into Fat which can change the size and shape of the breast. This is a very important factor in determining if a change in bra size is necessary for women over 35.
Common Benign Conditions
The following is a brief outline of the most common Benign Conditions of the breasts. It should be noted that over 90% of lumps in the breast are benign:
- Fibroadenosis – Overgrowth of the glandular cells (aka glandular epithelium). Very common with up to 100% of women in the 20-45 age group affected. Tender on palpation and usually quite soar the week before the menstrual period.
- Fibroadenoma – A Common benign tumor that starts as an area of overgrowth in one or more lobules. Can start in women 16-25 and persist for decades without much growth but often enlarges during pregnancy. It has a clearly defined border unlike Fibroadenosis where they are not well defined.
- Sclerosing Adenosis – Overgrowth of glandular epithelial cells and fibrous tissue in an infiltrating manner, leading to distortion and obliteration of duct channels. Very hard with irregular but definite edges feels closet to cancerous growths on palpation. Almost never seen in women under 30. Invasion/entrapment of nerves and blood vessels can make it very painful.
- Cysts – Cysts are fluid filled cystic structures that form from natural acinar formations in the breast, typically as part of involution. Some are tiny and others quite large; they are round or oval and have well defined borders. Internal fluid volume varies, so they can be soft and then hard. Move well with breast tissue with movement palpation. Usually occur in clusters, some palpable and some not. Generally found in women 35-55; disappear after menopause. Very variable in terms of presence or absence of soreness. Typically palpatory fell is “fluctuant” as in the fell of being able to displace a bit of fluid as you apply pressure. Fluid in the cyst will be the colour of teas.
Breast Ominous Signs
It must be noted that in all cases these signs may be present in non-cancerous situations.
- Nature of the Lump – The most ominous type of lump is very hard, has well defined edges, and does not move well with the nearby breast tissue on circular palpation.
- Doesn’t Change With Menstrual Cycle – Most benign breast conditions show fluctuations in size/density and tenderness with the woman’s menstrual cycle; most malignant conditions do not.
- Lack of Pain/Tenderness – Most malignant lumps are not tender. Only 6-7% of early stage cancers are identified because of pain.
Nipple Retraction – Cancers situated centrally inside the breast will often cause changes in the tissue behind the nipple that result in the nipple being pulled inward.
- Nipple Discharge – While nipple discharge is not “normal” except in lactation, the most concerning discharges contain new or old blood or clear colourless liquid; the least concerning are milky or clear tea coloured (cyst fluid).
- Changes in the Breast Contour – Indentations or puckers that appear in the skin surface may indicate an underlying cancer.
- Changes in Skin Colour or Texture – Cancer infiltration of small surface lymph vessels causes a characteristic skin change called ‘peau d’orange’ because the skin takes on an orangish amber colour and the dimpled quality of orange peel.
- Unusual Vein Prominence – Vein prominence can indicate increased metabolic activity. Especially if it is unilateral or restricted to one area of a breast, this may be an ominous sign.
- Unusual Presentations – Cysts that appear after menopause, or abscesses that develop without apparent cause, or any type of common lesion that develops in a uncommon pattern, has the potential of being an ominous manifestation.
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Brian Sklar, RMT, BTh, BES, BEd
“I have been working in the area of massage therapy and related modalities since 1992. The lonSpa treatments are the fastest way I have found to get toxins out without causing a healing crisis.”
Diane Sklar, CCH, CEC.
“I have been involved with colon therapy and cleansing since 1995. I see the lonSpa Treatments as an excellent way to compliment the colon cleansing that I do and make the toxic removal more complete.”