The Health Center of Integrated Therapies (HCIT), part of the Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, Colorado, offers breast massage as therapy. Michelle Bowman, HCIT's director, says, "Breast massage is not just for husbands."
Bowman and center massage therapists hope more women with breast pain and those wanting to keep their breasts healthy will consider the alternative therapy they began offering two years ago.
In the therapy, the HCIT massage therapist begins every treatment by draping sheets around the patient as she lies either nude or in her underwear on a warming pad. The therapist massages her back, ribs, abdomen and shoulders before gently circling around and on her breasts.
Center massage therapist Karen Martin says that the therapy works by improving circulation to an area that often stays in a static state.
Martin said that patients walk in with level eight pain due to breast cancer, biopsies, rib dysfunction, hormone imbalances, scar tissue or even a poorly fit bra, but can walk out with level two pain.
Clinical studies also have shown that this type of massage can lower the risk of depression and anxiety for breast cancer survivors. Besides alleviating pain, breast massage changes the way the breasts feel over time in some patients, Martin added.
for more information and news about breast cancer, visit www.breastcancer.com.