As well as it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October, today is also National No Bra Day – a day where women all over the nation are encouraged to not wear a bra in order to raise awareness around the importance of knowing the symptoms of breast cancer, alongside breast cancer screening and regular self-checks.
When it comes to checking your boobs, always remember that:
- All boobs are different in shape and size. It’s also very normal for one boob to be bigger than the other.
- The feeling of your boobs will change at different times of the month and especially around your period. Regularly checking your boobs and observing how they feel is the best way to fully understand how they change during your cycle.
- Women post-menopause will typically have softer, less firm breasts.
- Many women will have lumps in their boobs, and most of these are not cancerous. Lumps also known as cysts are particularly common in women aged 35-50 and even though they’re usually not anything to worry about, you should always get them checked.
- Changes in your boobs happen for many reasons and the majority of them aren’t anything to worry about. If you find something that you are concerned about, don’t hesitate about going to see your GP. It’s really important to rule out breast cancer, so it’s always best to check.
Both men and women should seek medical advice if:
- You notice discharge coming from either of your nipples.
- You notice any lumps or change in skin texture, such as puckering or dimpling.
- The position of your nipples change (for example, your nipple looks like it’s being pulled in or is pointing differently).
- A rash or any kind of redness/soreness appears on or around your nipple.
- You experience pain or discomfort in your chest / one or both of your boobs.
Are your wearing the right bra?
While many of you may be ditching your bra for a day today, when you do wear one, is it comfortable? I bought a couple of new bras recently by a brand called Miss Mary of Sweden, one of which was an underwired one. I don’t wear underwired bras and have always cautioned women about how they can block the drainage of lymph fluid from the breasts and increase the risk of mastitis and cysts.
When I was carrying out lots of remedial massage work when I was running my natural health clinic, I would often show women massage techniques so that they could drain their own breast tissue, always towards the lymph nodes in the armpits.
I never forget when I went to the Viva-Mayr Clinic in Austria for the first time. I booked a couple of massages. The female massage therapist asked me to take off my bra for the massage, so I did. She massaged my back first and then when I turned over, I thought she’d put a towel over my boobs, but she didn’t, she proceeded to massage them. It was very medical and very professional, but unexpected nevertheless! I showed my own female massage clients how to massage their own breasts and encouraged them to do it a couple of times a month, more frequently for those who had congested breast tissue or were prone to mastitis or cysts.
Back to my underwired bra – I bought it just to wear with dresses on special occasions. However, for some unexplained reason, shortly after buying it, I put it on before heading off to stay with my mum for a couple of days. On day 2, I decided to do a bit of work in the garden and by the afternoon I began to get very uncomfortable with heartburn and some acid reflux. I have never had this before and couldn’t understand what was causing it – then I remembered the underwired bra I was wearing. I went into the house and took it off; all symptoms disappeared about half an hour later.
Bras are supposed to be comfortable and supportive and shouldn’t cause us any harm. Many women feel that the best part of their day is when they get to take their bra off, but this shouldn’t be the case if you’re wearing one that fits properly. Your bra should never rub or dig into your body, regardless of your shape and size.
Is your bra doing you more harm than good?
Bras that don’t fit properly can not only make your outfit look strange, but they can also harm your body and your health. Acid reflux and heartburn are just a couple of the issues an uncomfortable bra may trigger.
You may be surprised to know that the tension build-up from the straps being too tight can also cause headaches, neck pains and even the feeling of pins and needles in your shoulders and elbows.
The culprit is not always your bra, but other types of tight underwear, such as spanx, that can put pressure on the abdomen to the point that acid is pushed from the stomach into the lower oesophagus, causing acid reflux.
Some women have also experienced hernias as a result of a poorly fitted bra. Typically, this occurs from an underwired style that is way too tight. Pressure builds up under the stomach, and tissues get pushed and pulled in all kinds of unnatural directions.
Back problems can seem inevitable for women with larger breasts, but it could be your bra that is causing the problem. A poorly fitted bra can pull your shoulders and neck down, which results in your spine curving.
It just goes to show that a poorly fitted bra can do a lot more damage than simply provide you with discomfort. The unnecessary pressure that is applied to your body can cause some rather serious health concerns, and I am sure that not everyone is aware of this. As a rule of thumb, take the time to get a proper bra fitting and always invest in high quality bras. This undergarment is to enhance your comfort, style and shape, and your health – not jeopardise it.
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