Self-massage can be a powerful practice. Depending on the where and how, a self-massage can help with just about everything from debloating to smoothing fine lines and wrinkles to easing jaw pain.
For today’s self-massage content, we’re focusing on the boobies. Namely, what a breast massage is (and isn’t), plus the benefits of giving yourself one. We tapped Dr. Mary Jacobson, Chief Medical Officer of Hello Alpha, for insight.
What is a self breast massage?
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like—intentional touching of your breasts and chest as part of self-care and self-pleasure.
“Breast massage is different from breast self-exam,” Dr. Mary notes, adding that breast self-exams remain controversial, and recommendations vary as “they may cause ‘psychological harm’ such as worry, anxiety, or other distress from overdiagnosis or overtreatment of a breast finding.”
What are the benefits of a breast massage?
Breast massage can offer many of the same benefits you get from other types of massage, like relaxation, lymphatic drainage, and improved circulation.
“According to the medical literature, breast self-massage may relieve pain due to blocked ducts, breast engorgement, and mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue), and may increase milk production in a lactating person and promote newborn suckling,” Dr. Mary says.
She adds that surgeons sometimes recommend patients with breast implants perform this kind of massage to help reduce the risk of some complications.
However, she notes that further research is needed to validate the benefits. (Meaning, the benefits are mostly anecdotal.)
How to give yourself a breast massage:
There really isn’t an agreed-upon method for breast self-massages, according to Dr. Mary. She adds that the different methods in medical literature range from a direct, hands-on approach to use of an oscillating breast massage device.
That’s part of the reason why further research into breast massage benefits is needed. “Studies with standardized techniques are needed to better assess the effectiveness of breast massage,” she says.
However, if you’d like to try it for yourself, we like to start by kneading or stroking (or whatever kind of touch feels good to you) one breast at a time. Go slowly, and use it as a time to get in touch with yourself. You don’t necessarily need to add body oil or lotion, but doing so does help enhance the self-care aspects of the massage. While any amount of time can be beneficial, we like to aim for 15 to 20 minutes, as that’s about how long it takes to release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and prolactin.
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