Breast massage is a specific treatment that targets the soft tissue of the chest wall area (upper front torso), as well as around and underneath breast tissue. This treatment uses fascial release and Swedish massage to promote circulation and decrease tension and pain. Often the weight of breast tissue and the restriction of undergarments can cause forward posture of the shoulders, resulting in upper- to mid-back pain.
Why Would You Choose Breast Massage?
This is a treatment you may consider discussing with your massage therapist if you have neck, upper-, or mid-back pain, difficulty breathing, or tension in your sternum or ribs. Breast massage is also indicated for pregnant women experiencing breast pain and postpartum patients impacted by blocked ducts.
Working with the scar tissue of the chest wall can also provide relief and increase range of motion from surgical scars of the sternum, breast augmentations or reductions, lumpectomy, or mastectomy procedures.
It is both highly therapeutic for tension relief and helpful to promote wellness to decrease stress.
What is different about breast massage, and who should consider it?
The first thing to consider when it comes to breast massage is that it can include the treatment of muscles, joints, fascia and glands from the collar bone across to the shoulder and armpit and down through to the sternum, not just what we consider the breast. Often during massage, we do not include treatment of the soft tissue below the collar bone. However, there are many benefits to having the chest wall and breast massaged.
Rounded shoulders are a common postural dysfunction. This can cause the muscles in the front of the chest to become very tight which translates into neck and upper-mid back tension. Releasing the tension in the front can impact the pain felt in the back.
During pregnancy, there are many hormonal and physical changes to the body. The rapid change in breast size can cause them to be extremely tender. Breast massage during pregnancy can help to decrease the pain and tenderness associated with these changes. Postpartum, it can also help with the tenderness from nursing. If there is a blocked duct, massage may be able to provide relief. Acute nipple pain should be assessed by a lactation consultant to ensure proper latch during breastfeeding.
Fascial and scar tissue techniques can be very beneficial for any patient with a history of asthma, as well as those recovering from any surgical procedures of the chest area. This type of treatment allows tissue that may be stuck together to move freely which provides more movement at the joints. Specific scar tissue massage can also promote healing at the surgical site, which can decrease long-term pain and tension.