I have been practising Manual Lymphatic Drainage since 2003. This technique, for those who may not know, is widely applied in breast cancer rehabilitation. following surgery and radiation, many women develop either/and: swelling in the affected area (lymphoedema), fibrosis, adhesions and excessive scar tissue formation, muscle atrophy and loss of sensation. The Complete Decongestion Therapy (MLD/CDT) can help with all these areas.
In the course of my years of practice, I have become somewhat of an expert in breast health. It helped that I nursed a lovely baby for 21 months. This gave me a real, deep appreciation of the miracle that a woman’s breasts truly are.
But, sadly, most of the discourse I have about breasts is tinged with sadness. Mutilation, dissection, removal, anger, fear, pleading. It all comes out on the massage couch. I am both proud and humbled by my work.
Lately, I have once again been contemplating the issue of going braless. I like the work of Kara Maria Ananda. I wish I could be as perky as her when it comes to hanging low. But, I admit that I find it hard. Although I know that :
1. Bras – especially underwire – impair lymph drainage.
2. Bras don’t prevent breast droop (ask your grandma – did she wear one? And where are hers hangin’)
3. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women (1 in 4..1 in 4…)
I somehow still find it challenging to walk down the street with my ladies a-swinging. But that is NOT because of me. It is down the those who observe me doing so, and feel free to comment/whistle/whoop upon it. Yep, I am a slim blonde living in one of the last European bastions of male chauvinism. I love ya, Spain, but you guys have got to refine how you show your appreciation of the female form. Yes?
As usual, I find the observation of my own mental patterns to be the most interesting part. Why have I sexualised my own breasts, for example? Why do I judge their shape, form and movement in a negative light? Why do I even dedicate time to this matter? Evidently, the dominant culture in which I live has magnified the importance of a simple piece of anatomy, scaling it beyond its natural size. (Kind of like a EEE implant, no?)
Still, the physical sensation of going braless is incomparable. When you remove that tight band from your chest, you literally breathe better. When you bound down the stairs and feel your breasts moving with you instead of being restrained within a semicircle of aluminium wire and wondrous stretchy fabric, you feel your breasts come alive. And yes, you posture improves when you go without your over the shoulder boulder holder. So many positives..but yet the fear remains. Will I provoke unwanted reactions? Will I droop more? Can I really get away with that top?
All I know is that I am in the process of learning – or unlearning – many things. And thus, I carry on experimenting and comparing and trying. For now, I hang free.
OM. The Guru is in you.