Restorative Breast Therapy:
Caring for your breasts
The Female Breast: Source of life, nature, nurture, pleasure; and in some cases, pain. Hallmark of femininity, icon of fertility, alternately revered, feared, exploited, cherished, idolized, accentuated, augmented, reduced, pushed-up, pressed down. We love them, we despise them. We are proud, we are ashamed. We seek to show off, we seek to hide.
Throughout the cycles of life, our breasts are affected by many varieties of discomfort and/or disease: cancer, benign cysts, fibroadenomas, fibrocystic disease, lymphatic congestion, lactation complications, menstrual breast tenderness, or just plain painful breast tissue.
Yet, despite the pain, it is an underlying and quietly pervasive view that one ought not talk openly about her breasts. Somehow it is deemed inappropriate to express what they feel like: good, bad, numb, achy, ugly, glorious. Many women are afraid of touching their own breasts, fearing that this is un-natural or even dangerous territory. Over the years, I have heard many women say:
- “I guess I just have to live with the pain.”
- “This (chronic pain or numbness) must be normal.”
- “It is not killing me, so I should be grateful.”
- “This is too embarrassing to talk about.”
- “I do not feel safe being touched there.”
Listening to these concerns, I responded with Restorative Breast Therapy. In the midst of cancer treatments – surgical, radiological, chemotherapeutic – breasts benefit from gentle therapy and assistance in recovery. Nursing breasts need to be tenderly cared for, reducing sensitivity and promoting ease of flow. Following surgical procedures such as augmentation or reduction, breasts ought to be carefully tended – addressing scar tissue, sensory nerve regeneration and mobility. During these processes and more, our breasts need not suffer. There are effective, non-invasive alternatives to bearing discomfort and pain; simultaneously restoring health and vitality.
As a neuromuscular therapist, I have specialized in soft tissue work addressing many facets of breast discomfort, dysfunction and pain regardless of the source. Along with my fellow clinicians, we have treated women with scar tissue from mastectomies and lumpectomies, benign fibro-adenomas and breast tissue that is simply painful and congested (often indicated by discomfort when belly sleeping or being touched by a partner). We offer a unique blend of manual therapies, ranging from manual lymphatic drainage and therapeutic massage to myofascial release and neuromuscular therapy.
This gentle amalgam of modalities has become Restorative Breast Therapy. An initial RBT session includes an assessment of your medical history and current physical condition (pain and/or numbness, fascial restrictions, overall tissue health, etc. followed by manual treatments specifically tailored to your needs and therapy goals (eg: increasing range of motion, avoiding lymphedema, reducing prosthetic pain, breaking up scar tissue and/or regaining sensation in breast tissue post-operatively).
It is our desire to educate and empower women through increasing awareness and familiarity with how our bodies work. None of us need to live with breast pain. With this in mind, I invite you to schedule a brief complementary RBT consult. Begin a new journey into understanding your body today.
Susan R. Stockton CNMT, RBT