“Doc, every morning in the shower, I look down at these things. They look like soggy, empty mittens lying flat on my chest,” says Barb as she sits down for her appointment. Barb is talking about her breasts and doesn’t sound happy about them. We hear these comments often at The Wellness Way, so we’re not surprised. Barb had been a patient at the clinic for almost a year and had done tremendous work to get on a path to wellness. Like many women, she felt like her breasts weren’t happy and thought the only option was to get breast implants or deal with it. That doesn’t have to be the case. There are three essentials every woman needs to make her tatas happier and healthier.
Who Has Unhappy Tatas?
Barb looked and felt great while following a comprehensive wellness regimen, but after losing weight, she noticed her breasts more. It was sad that something like breasts would keep her from thoroughly enjoying her health. After having three children and breastfeeding, she felt like her breasts had suffered. She wondered what her husband thought of them.
She’s not alone. We hear it all the time, mostly from married women in their 30s and above who have families. Even when a woman has a healthy pregnancy and healthy body, breastfeeding and pregnancy can tear the body up.
Time and children aren’t kind to women’s breasts, making them self-conscious of their bodies- sometimes to the point of being destructive. We also see breast implants’ impact on women, as many women come to the clinic when their breast implants start to make them sick.
Breast Implants in the U.S.
Breast implants are the most common in a growing list of cosmetic surgeries. Nearly 300,000 women had breast augmentation surgery in 2016, a 37% increase from 2000.  However, the shutdowns of 2020 caused a decrease in all surgeries, especially cosmetic surgeries. Breast augmentation surgeries in 2020 totaled 193,073, down 33% from 2019 and 9% down from the year 2000. 
Still, nearly 200,000 women yearly are risking their health, lives, and happiness to have better breasts. They are putting a foreign object in their body, so the body mounts an attack on itself. The breasts aren’t even guaranteed to be perfect. They might be lopsided and have scarring, wrinkling, or other imperfections. They aren’t even lifetime devices- they only last, at the most, ten years, and then you have to go through surgery again to remove or replace them.
There are lots of reasons to hate breast implants. Besides the polarizing stigma, the FDA itself lists dozens of adverse side effects.  The list includes:
• Chest pain
• Changes in nipple or breast sensation
• Rupture of the breast implant
• Necrosis (uh, that’s dead tissue)
• Breast tissue atrophy
• and more
Are those enough for you, or do we have to keep going?
Breast Implants Are Harmful
A study looked at the association of silicone implants in both antibodies and autoimmune diseases. It studied patients who had silicone implants compared to those who did not. It showed immune systems were much more active in patients who had silicone implants versus patients who did not have silicone implants.  An active immune system is not a good thing. It means the body is on the attack. The body is attacking the foreign body and, essentially, your own body. Massive inflammatory reactions to the breast implants trigger autoimmune disease. Is it worth it?
We have seen it all when it comes to breast implants and questions. The worst story we can share is about a woman who was a plastic surgeon and gave her daughter breast implants for her high school graduation. Her daughter developed an autoimmune disease. Her body was fighting this foreign object! Think about it; by giving her this “gift,” she made her daughter sick at a very young age.
Now, would you want to make your daughter sick? No! Of course not! If you wouldn’t do it for your daughter, why would you do it to yourself? So, on the other hand, many women might not get the implants. They would just be unhappy with their breasts. Neither is an ideal solution.
3 Essentials for Happy (and Healthy) Breasts
The ideal solution is happy tatas, and we have three essentials for healthy breasts that will get you there. The essentials are massage & exercise, eating good foods, and having balanced hormones. If your tatas are happy, you will be happy. Your husband will also be happy, mainly because he can help with one of these essentials. Can you guess which?
One of the simplest ways to keep the breasts in good condition is to massage the breasts properly. Done regularly, it can have great benefits. What does “regularly” mean? Daily. It only takes 5 minutes. You can do it.
People have known for a long time that massage feels great and improves blood circulation. A study from 2014 validated this by measuring muscle soreness and blood circulation in participants. There were 3 participant groups in the study. One group exercised and received a massage, one just exercised, and another just received massage. Even the group that just received massage had the benefits of increased blood circulation. 
Breast tissue must be highly vascular to allow oxygen deep into the tissues. Once oxygen levels deplete, the collagen starts to disintegrate. That’s when the sagging and changes happen. Massage can help get oxygen to your breasts. Once you get oxygen to the breasts regularly, it keeps them very taut.
If you’re not allergic, use coconut oil. It has excellent fatty acids, assists hormonal reactions, increases sensitivity, and gets blood flow to the breasts. Using coconut oil by itself is great. We also have a coconut oil body butter recipe you can make at home.
The Massage Steps
- Warm Up: A great way to start is to warm up the body and breasts. You can do this with a heated blanket, warm shower, or infrared sauna. Infrared saunas have many health benefits. Our favorite sauna is Sunlighten. Doc has one at home, which gives more privacy for massages. You find what works best for you and fits into your day.
- Stretch: Next, do a nice chest-opening stretch—your choice. If you are a yoga fan, you may have a favorite. If you don’t have a favorite, there are many great options. You can intertwine your fingers behind your back and press your knuckles and shoulder blades toward the floor while drawing your hands up from your tailbone.
- Get Blood Flowing in Your Hands: Now that your body is warmed up, rub the palms of your hands together to heat them.
- Left Breast: Then take your right hand and cup your left breast. Starting at the top of your nipple, start massaging your breast in a tiny circular motion moving clockwise (towards the center of your chest) around the nipple. Keep going around the breast until you have massaged the entire breast. Then, as your final loop towards your armpit, move both hands towards your armpit and the lymph nodes located there.
- Right Breast: Then take your left hand and cup your right breast. Starting at the top of your nipple, start massaging your breast in a tiny circular motion moving counterclockwise (towards the center of your chest) around the nipple. Keep going around the breast until you have massaged the entire breast. Then, as your final loop towards your armpit, move both hands towards your armpit and the lymph nodes located there.
Repeat on each side 5-10 times. Don’t worry; you can’t massage them too much. At the end of each loop, ensure you’re massaging up and into the armpit, where you have many lymph nodes.
What Are Lymph Nodes?
Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. They are small, bean-shaped masses that filter toxins and bacteria in the bloodstream to be removed from your body. A big group of these are in your armpit. Wearing a bra can inhibit their functionality, and a bonus of the massage is that it improves the blood flow out that way.
Don’t stress if you don’t get all the steps down right away. Just get used to incorporating it into your day; it will eventually come more naturally. Remember, there’s no wrong way to massage as long as it feels good. There is no need to use excessive pressure. All breasts are different, so use the appropriate pressure for your set.
There are many benefits to massaging your breasts, and it’s a great way to treat yourself. There are more benefits and fewer risks than getting breast implants. While breast implants can reduce your sensitivity, this massage technique can improve your sensitivity while making them look and feel better.
2) Eat Good Foods
Eating healthy foods is the cornerstone of a healthy body including healthy breasts. Along with a healthy diet, there are foods you can eat to help build collagen. Collagen is fantastic for keeping tissues tight and improving the skin’s elasticity.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and the glue that holds everything together. A clinical placebo-controlled study of 60 randomized women confirmed that collagen and vitamin supplementation improves elasticity, wrinkles, moisture, and pore size compared to the control group. 
There are foods you can include in your diet to add collagen and aid your body in building and absorbing this vital protein. It’s great that incorporating bone broth and protein powder is becoming so popular because they add collagen, which is fantastic for the breasts.
The article “11 Best Foods To Support Your Body’s Collagen Production” identifies bone broth, healthy protein sources, and other foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants like leafy green vegetables, berries, and garlic to build collagen. 
Stay away from inflammatory foods like sugars and grains. Inflammatory foods will stretch the skin and reduce elasticity. Luckily, those healthy foods that build collagen are also on the list of foods that make up an anti-inflammatory diet. You can also get tested by a practitioner who can tell you if inflammatory foods are impacting your health.
So, ladies, remember what you eat can cause systemic inflammation, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Or what you eat can build a healthy, beautiful body. If you are ingesting foods that support collagen, you will be much happier with what your body gives you. Eat healthy. Keep your breasts tight.
3) Healthy Hormones
Hormones, ladies, it always comes back to those hormones. Are we right? Hormones have the power to make you happy or, if they are out of whack, make you feel like you are going crazy. Hormones control many of your body’s functions, including your skin and breasts.
Estrogen is what keeps breast tissue strong. According to the Women in Balance Institute’s “Hormones 101,” estrogen stimulates the production of breast tissue and other tissues and ensures their function. Among its many roles, it also preserves the elasticity and moisture content of the skin. 
Many things can cause our hormones to get out of whack. Foods, toxins, exercise, and stress can affect our hormonal balance.  Many moms take care of their families first, often neglecting themselves. That could mean no time for exercise or eating well. Don’t do that to yourselves. Taking good care of your overall health while avoiding toxins, which can disrupt your hormones, is critical to hormonal balance.
Did we just say toxins can disrupt your hormones and impact your hormonal balance? Yes, we did. You probably knew it already and didn’t want to give up your favorite face cream or convenience foods. If you look closely at what researchers know, you will ditch that face cream and those easy foods that add toxins to your bloodstream.
Researchers have learned how those toxins, or endocrine disruptors, can influence or change how our hormones work. They can mimic hormones like estrogen, which can lead to overstimulation. They can also alter how those hormones are made or controlled in the liver.  Are you rethinking some of your product choices yet?
Get Your Hormones Tested
To be sure your hormones are balanced, get tested by a doctor who can understand the importance of your individual hormone needs. If your doctor won’t test your hormone levels, find a new one. We have Wellness Way clinics throughout the United States (and one in Ireland). Check out this short video on Estrogen Quick Tips (precursor to ADP) to learn more.
Now You Know the Essentials- Be Happy
Breasts are central to a woman’s physical identity whether we like it or not. Don’t let it destroy you by doing something dangerous for your body or neglecting them because you think you must deal with it that way. You now know three essentials to healthy breasts that, along with a healthy lifestyle, will keep your tatas happy. Make time in your day to make these essentials happen. Don’t do it for anyone besides yourself. Make time for yourself because you deserve happy, healthy tatas.
- 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics | Cosmetic Procedures Trends
- 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report
- Risks and Complications of Breast Implants | FDA
- The association between silicone implants and both antibodies and autoimmune diseases | SpringerLink
- Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function After Exertion – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (archives-pmr.org)
- An Oral Supplementation Based on Hydrolyzed Collagen and Vitamins Improves Skin Elasticity and Dermis Echogenicity: A Clinical Placebo-Controlled Study (omicsonline.org)
- 11 Best Foods To Support Your Body’s Collagen Production* | mindbodygreen
- Hormones 101 – Women in Balance Institute
- Hormone Imbalance Causes: Women in Balance Institute
- Endocrine Disruptors (nih.gov)