Updated: Mar 19, 2019
(If you are a man, please share this article to your wife, sister, mother and/or a friend.)
I always wonder about it. Do you?
I see a lot of women wearing bras that are way to tight, to the point that it is actually limiting the rib cage mobility causing tightness on the muscles around that area.
Have you ever felt that you can not take a deep breath while wearing a bra?
Have you ever felt easier to breath after removing the bra?
If your rib cage is not moving properly, your lungs will have less expansion too. Less rib cage movement will cause the muscles around your ribs to become tight.
Sometimes, I wonder if having a limited mobility on the rib cage, combined with muscle tightness can increase risk of breast cancer.
Think about it...
If you the muscles that pull the shoulder forward (per example the pectoralis major and serratus muscles tightness) are tight, it will also decrease the space in the armpit area and create compression.
Many patients develop nerve compression on this area secondary to forward shoulder and those muscles being super tight for so long. This compression can cause irritate the nerve causing pain to radiate down the arm, sometimes all the way to the fingers.
As a physical therapist, I saw many time that as soon as I release those muscles, the nerve compression disappear. The same happens if I am trying to decrease inflammation and increase movement to the lymphatic system (this system is responsible to clear the toxins in our body) around the arm pit (see picture).
Once, the shoulder and rib cage moves better, the axillary lymph nodes (around the armpit) feels better and suddenly the patient can even take a deeper breath.
If the axillary nodes are inflamed and the lymph is not moving properly, more toxins will be stagnated in the armpit area. It makes sense to me that more stagnated toxins will increase the risks of cancer, right?
I do believe that the wrong size Bra or the overuse of Bra can affect your health.
I am not saying to go outside or exercise without a bra.
But I definitely believe that bras with wire should be avoided as much as possible.
Go braless as much as possible. You probably don't need to sleep wearing a bra.
We can also add a foam roller and stretches to the pectoral and serratus as a part of our exercise routine (see below).
If you need help on how to performance those exercises or need to release muscle tightness, improve your posture and/or improve your rib cage mobility, contact an experienced physical therapist. You can Schedule your FREE Discovery Session Now.
I found this awesome article that was written by Louise Habakus on GreenMedInfo LLC that talks more about this topic:
Evidence of a relationship between bras and breast cancer may rethink the societal convention of wearing bras.
I realize it may feel some combination of uncomfortable, unprofessional, or unnecessarily provocative. Societal convention has most of us trussing up before going out.
If you are reading this at home, do me a favor and unhook. Then keep reading.
There's Some Evidence of a Relationship Between Bras and Breast Cancer.
Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras
Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer authored a book called Dressed To Kill. They interviewed 4,000+ women in five major U.S. cities over two years. Half the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
75% of women who slept in their bras developed breast cancer
1 in 7 who wore their bras 12+ hours per day developed breast cancer
1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer
Within one month of ditching their bras, women with cysts, breast pain, or tenderness found their symptoms disappeared.
Breast Size, Handedness, and Breast Cancer Risk
A 1991 article in the European Journal of Cancer found that premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users. The data also suggest that bra cup size (and breast size) may be a risk factor for breast cancer.
Cancer Is Not a Disease
Andreas Moritz revealed that Japanese, Fijians, and women from other cultures were found to have a significantly higher likelihood of developing breast cancer when they began wearing bras. His book explains how cancer is an adaptive healing mechanism, arguing that people would die more quickly if the body did not form cancer cells.
Bras and Girdles Can Reduce Melatonin Levels
Japanese researchers found they can lower melatonin by 60%. Melatonin has anti-cancer properties. And Spanish researchers wrote about the use of melanonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment.
There's No Downside to Being Cautious.
Am I suggesting this scanty fact base offers definitive proof of a causal relationship? No.
Am I suggesting you should be comforted that the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the New York Times all believe it to be bunk? No.
That's a longer discussion, but it's sufficient to say that politics and economics create active bedfellows and the absence of a commercial imperative might have something to do with the dearth of research.
Many of us don't need to wait in order to do something that intuitively seems to make a lot of sense. Frankly, in view of the alarming rate of breast cancer prevalence in this country (12.3% of women) and the growing trend to remove body parts in an attempt to improve our odds, it seems we might be receptive to a bit of behavior modification.
Things to Consider Doing:
Go braless as much as possible.
It actually gets easier. When these muscles and ligaments are forced to bear the weight of our breasts, muscle tone returns. The more you wear a bra, the more you need to wear a bra. Chest muscles and breast ligaments atrophy, which then makes it feel uncomfortable to go braless.
A 15 year French study conducted by Besancon CHU professor Jean-Denis Rouillon found that "medically, phyisiologically, and anatomically, breasts gained no benefit from their weight being supported in a bra." There was some evidence that eliminating bra use helped ease back pain. He described bra wearing as a "false need."
Remove your bra when you get home. Don't wear a bra to bed. And if you're self-conscious when going out, try wearing camisoles, thicker material, or nipple pads. It does make sense to wear a support bra while exercising.
Wear Loose Bras in Softer Materials and Avoid Underwires.
Tight bras and underwires restrict lymphatic drainage, promoting congestion and stagnation of toxic waste materials that are supposed to be flowing out for excretion. Further, the closing of lymphatic vessels reduces the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
Michael Schachter, MD, FACAM wrote that bras and tight clothing can impede lymph flow and contribute to the development of breast cancer.
John MacDougall, MD wrote in The Lancet that repeated inflammation from constricting bras are implicated in painful breast cysts and lumps, scar tissue develops, and milk ducts become plugged, all of which is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
The metal in underwire bras can create an "Antenna Effect" according to the father of Applied Kinesiology, George Goodheart, DC. Repeated pressing of metal over an acupuncture point can cause longer-term stimulation of neuro-lymphatic reflex points corresponding to the liver, gallbladder, and stomach. "It will likely make her sick; slowly and quietly," said John Andre, ND, DC.
Here's a list of no-underwire bras recommended by Donna Eden, Vicki Mathews, and Titanya Dahlin. Donna adds that plastic underwires have the same negative impact as metal underwires.
Slide the Wires Out!
There's no need to toss your expensive underwire bras. If you cut a small opening at one end of the wire, you can manually remove it from each cup. You'll probably find that your bra supports you nearly as well without them. Oh, and don't be fooled. They make look like plastic, but they're actually plastic-coated metal. If you find you still need the support, you can buy and insert plastic wires. Andre explains how.
Read the whole article here.
Louise Kuo Habakus is the co-author of Vaccine Epidemic, the Executive Director and co-founder of the Center for Personal Rights, the founder of Fearless Parent, and the Executive Director of Health Freedom Action.