What exactly IS breast massage?
Well, simply put, breast massage is manipulation of the breast and its surrounding tissue.
Why do I do it? Lots of reasons. One, it supports women’s health. How? Because the lymphatic system does not have a mechanism for movement. The circulatory system relies on the heart to move blood throughout the body. But in order for the lymph to move through the body a person has to either exercise vigorously or manually massage themselves to get it moving.
Two, it feels wonderfully therapeutic for women to receive non-sexual touch on their breasts. To receive touch in an area of the body that is primarily used for either nourishing babies or for the pleasure of our partners feels liberating, relaxing, and releasing.
When I arrived in Hawai’i for my training in Lomilomi massage I had no idea that breast massage was an integral part of the treatment. I had never had my breasts massaged before let alone by someone I was not in a relationship with. I was nervous. Then, soon into the treatment I began to let go of enormous amounts of tension that I didn’t realize my body had been holding onto.
Women who are mothers tend to hold even more tension in their breasts. A good friend of mine once described the frequency of mothering a young child as “breast energy.” A very apt description of the type of energy that mothers give to their children, especially young ones. For many years our bodies are their homelands. When they hurt themselves or need nurturing what is the first thing we do? We hold them to our breasts in a tender embrace.
In a culture that over sexualizes women’s bodies to the degree that ours does women are bombarded by conflicting messages about our breasts. We feel the constant need to push them up, age defy them, and hinder their existence with all kinds of uncomfortable undergarments. We are told that they must be big, and perky, and perfectly symmetrical. Our society demands that they be displayed for the male gaze but if we take ownership of our bodies and flaunt them we are called sluts. Ugh. Having breasts can be exhausting.
For all of these reasons breast massage, in my view, is an essential part of women’s well being. I usually build up the level of contact over the course of 2 or 3 treatments to build trust between myself and my client. For some women receiving breast massage on the first treatment can be challenging, for others it is long overdue.