I have spent the past 11 years of my life as a professional massage therapist, and 8 of those dedicating myself to the gentle art of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). MLD is a very gentle and highly specific massage technique that is used in cancer rehabilitation. Many who opt for allopathic cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery are left with impaired lymphatic drainage in the affected area. This manifests as swelling known as lymphedema (sometimes lymphoedema). In massage training, touching of the breast is generally verboten. In MLD it is an integral part of the treatment, especially in women who have had lumpectomies, mastectomies, radiotherapy, reconstruction (implant or TRAM). I consider myself an expert in the treatment of breast conditions. Drawing from my massage training, I have always emphasized the importance of the abdominal massage. Deep abdominal massage is used in many healing modalities including, but not limited to, Tui-Na, Mayan massage, modern Osteopathy, Ayurvedic massage, and Swedish massage. MLD includes very important abdominal work, but the touch is light, as it is in all aspects of the technique. In hatha yoga, we learn and teach techniques to release the diaphragm muscle, deepen the breath and connect with the muscles of the pelvic floor. I propose to you a Well Woman Massage:
- Hatha yoga to stretch the body and deepen the breath, connecting with the perineum and diaphragm.
- Deep abdominal massage, back massage (lest we forget that the abdominal obliques and the hip flexors originate in the spine)
- MLD for abdomen and breast.