Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy
Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy
ELT and MLD are used following breast surgeries such as mastectomy, reduction, enhancement, and reconstruction to heal the tissue. They can be combined with scar reduction techniques to improve overall appearance following surgery.
ELT and MLD are also effective in treating fibrocystic breasts and breasts that become tender as a result of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Both techniques significantly improve the flow of lymph out of the breast which helps to remove toxins and restore normal function in breast tissue.
What Is Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy?
Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy is a type of Breast Health & Healing Therapy. They are both therapeutic treatment of the breast tissue that help maintain healthy breasts and assist in restoring health to tissues that have been surgically altered, damaged, or have suffered from disease.
It does this by improving the circulation of blood and lymph in the breasts which are filled with lymphatic vessels. These actions bring nutrient filled blood to the area and drain away congested lymph that is full of toxins.
In breasts that have been surgically altered, gentle scar work techniques are used to restore normal mobility of tissue and reduce pulling and pinching.
Who Needs Breast Health & Healing Therapy?
Anyone with any of the following conditions can benefit from Breast Health Therapy:
- Post-Surgical Breasts
- Scars in Breast Tissue
- Painful Breasts
- Premenstrual Breasts (congested)
- Breast Trauma
Breast Cancer Survivors are highly encouraged to receive Breast Health Therapy. This includes men! While uncommon, breast cancer can occur in men as they also have a small amount of breast tissue. It just does not develop because of low estrogen and high testosterone levels. Men should feel completely normal asking for a Breast Health Therapy if they have had breast cancer.
Women who have had breast reductions, enhancements, mastectomies, or reconstructive surgery often suffer from painful adhesions which can be reduced or eliminated through Post-Operative Breast Health & Healing Therapy. This is often combined with Myofascial Scar Tissue techniques which directly address scars left from surgery. Not only does this reduce the visibility of the scar, but it also helps the tissue that was damaged from surgery to heal much, much faster.
You do not need to have had surgery to benefit from Breast Health & Healing Therapy. Women typically wear tight-fitting bras that restrict the flow of lymph in the breast causing toxins to be trapped and not cleared out throughout the day. Breast Health & Healing Therapy is a way to jump-start the lymphatic system and cause the breast to drain out these toxins. Additionally, women with fibrocystic breasts or tender breasts from menstrual cycle hormonal changes feel great relief when they have their breast lymph drained as it is the lymph that is causing the swelling associated with menstrual changes.
What Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy is NOT
It is important to note that in Western culture, breasts are closely tied to sexuality; however, this has nothing to do with Breast Health & Healing Therapy.
Breasts are a part of the body, just like our eyes and our teeth, and they need regular checkups and maintenance to keep them healthy. Breast Health & Healing Therapy is exactly that and nothing more.
Licensed Therapists can receive special Continuing Education training in Breast Health techniques and should be able to produce credentials to this effect.
Techniques Used in Breast Health & Healing Therapy
Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy draws from a number of modalities. The predominant form of therapy used is Lymphatic Drainage which helps to circulate lymph in the breast tissue which is the main way that toxins are removed from the breast.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) can be done with the hands or lymph can be drained with a machine that is designed to help get lymph unstuck. This technique is known as Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (ELT). Both forms of Lymphatic Drainage are extremely soothing.
Another technique used in Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy is Myofascial Release. Fascia is the web-like fibrous material that you have seen if you have ever peeled the skin off of a chicken. Fascia is found throughout our bodies and holds us together. Oftentimes, fascia becomes stuck to itself and does not allow for regular movement of the things around it. These types of restrictions can cut off proper circulation and be uncomfortable.
In Myofascial Release the pressure is generally light to medium and is generally comfortable for most people.
Scar Tissue Work, a specialized form of Myofascial Release, is a third technique used in Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy. Many women (and some men) have surgery in this area which leaves scar tissue. By utilizing special Scar Tissue techniques, the scars can be reduced in size and their texture can improve so that they are less noticeable.
Scar Tissue work is very gentle and seeks to improve the flexibility of the scar without causing any inflammation. Although there may be some tugging felt as adhesions are stretched, the objective is to be gentle so discomfort should be minimal to none.
Why Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy Works
Breasts are made up of fat and glandular tissues capable of producing milk. They are nourished by the circulatory system (arteries and veins) and their fluid balance is maintained by lymphatic tissue which also removes waste. They are held onto the chest by a series of ligaments.
Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy moves blood and lymph in and out of the breast, bringing fresh blood containing nutrients to its tissues and removing waste by causing lymph to flow. Lymph moves just under the skin and bras restrict the flow of lymph. Since most women wear bras and they have an elastic band and often an underwire, lymph flow is usually cut off from the breast for many hours at a time. The backup of this fluid causes stagnation which Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy can improve.
The Myofascial Release techniques used in Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy help to reduce fascial adhesions in the breast that can cause additional lymphatic restriction, even when a bra is not being worn. These adhesions can result in breasts that feel swollen and painful. By reducing these adhesions, normal lymphatic circulation can be restored allowing fluid to move more easily back out of the breast.
Both Lymphatic Drainage and Myofascial Release techniques are extremely beneficial to women who have fibrocystic breasts. They help to reduce the lumpy, uncomfortable, and often painful sensations associated with this condition by draining stagnant areas of fluid from the breast.
If a client has had breast surgery such as a reduction, an enhancement, a mastectomy, a reconstruction, or a core biopsy, scar tissue results. Scars in this area of the body are usually psychologically charged, meaning they are tied to deep emotions. Scar tissue reduction techniques help not only to improve the appearance of the scar, but they also reduce discomfort caused by painful adhesions that can restrict normal movement of the arms.
When Was Breast Health & Healing Therapy Developed?
Breast Health & Healing Therapy is a relatively new technique in bodywork. Its development has come about over the last two to three decades as we have become more aware of breast health and how to care properly for them.
Part of the push to develop Breast Health & Healing Therapy techniques have stemmed from the increased scientific research into breast health. Women have been looking for ways in which they can proactively care for their breasts in order to keep them healthy.
How Breast Surgery Recovery Therapy is Performed
The lymphatic system is opened up by working areas around the collar bone, in the abdomen, and in the armpits. Then, depending on the client’s draping preferences, either the breast drape will be removed or left in place. Work can be performed to some degree through a breast drape, but manual lymphatic work involves dragging the skin may it is not possible to get good traction on the skin through cloth.
Electro-Lymphatic Therapy (ELT) which is done using a machine needs contact directly with the skin The drape can also be removed temporarily from parts of the breast and then replaced once these steps have been completed.
The first technique which involves dragging the skin is done by applying light pressure dragging the skin outward from the center of the breast in a starburst fashion. This pulls fluid back out from the breast towards the lymph nodes in the armpit, along the sternum, and under the collar bone.
If there are adhesions, the tissue is gently stretched in order to lengthen the tight areas. This helps to reduce pain caused by scar tissue.
Aromatherapy and the use of Essential Oils can be combined with this service for a small fee.