Your Boobs Deserve Self-Care, Too: Here's How To Show The Girls Some Love
When you hear the term self-care, you likely don't snap your fingers and think, Oh! Boob massage! After all, it's not like you hold tension in your breasts—nothing like the satisfaction of kneading out knots in your back or neck—so why would a breast massage ever appeal to those in dire need of some self-pampering?
Turns out, there are a bunch of reasons (read all about 'em here), but for the sake of time, we'll touch on one that especially strikes a chord: some good ol' self-love. It's so easy to look in the mirror and criticize your chest—too big, too small, too misshapen, or whatever unkind thoughts creep into your subconscious. Taking the time to show the girls some TLC can help you appreciate and connect with your body, for all its distinctions—and perhaps kick the critical habit.
Because we could all use a little love right now.
How to show your boobs some self-care.
Before hopping in the shower or the next time you simply need to wind down (say, after a bout of doomscrolling), perhaps try abhyanga—an ancient Ayurvedic practice that includes light-touch massage with large amounts of herbal oil. "The ancient Ayurvedic sages recommended that we do self-abhyanga daily to maintain our health," certified Ayurvedic practitioner and massage therapist Julie Bernier says regarding the practice.
Grab your oil du jour (untoasted sesame oil is typically the Ayurvedic pick, but you can use whatever soothing oil you have on hand), find a comfortable location that makes you feel pampered (we repeat: self-care), and apply gentle pressure in circular motions. Then, you can use dragging motions from the crease of the armpit toward the center of the body, repeating while moving from the collarbone to the shoulder to the neck. (Read the full tutorial here.)
Can you use gua sha on the area?
Recently, we saw posts and reports of people using gua sha on the area. But here's the thing: Gua sha as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice hasn't exactly been studied for the breast—it's not mentioned in either historical or modern TCM literature. "As a licensed TCM practitioner with 20 years' experience, I never use gua sha on breast tissue," says acupuncturist and herbalist Sandra Lanshin Chiu, L.Ac., founder of Lanshin. Similarly, says acupuncturist and co-founder of Wilding Gianna de la Torre, L.Ac., "As a professional who has done gua sha for 15 years, I've never had anyone come to me and ask me to work on their breast."
That's not to say gua sha hasn't been used by practitioners to remedy the breast area at all: "Gua sha is used to [tend to] conditions like fibrocystic breasts, mastitis, and breast pain; however, it's not applied directly to the breast," says Chiu. "It's usually applied to muscles or around joints, not to adipose-tissue-dominant areas (like the breast). In TCM we often access the back of the body to handle chest conditions." So while gua sha techniques can affect the area, a professional wouldn't exactly use the tool on the breasts themselves.
But, look, you can ultimately do whatever you want with your body. If you want to scrape a gua sha stone along the tissue—or any other tool, for that matter—we certainly won't stop you. Do whatever feels good! Just know that a "gua sha breast massage" is not a TCM-derived concept experts would typically incorporate into their professional practice.
If you are going to take a gua sha stone to your breasts in the name of self-care, please do so gently. "So gentle it's like frosting a cake," de La Torre notes. After oiling up (again, any soothing oil will do), she recommends using the smaller edge of the tool and sweeping from the nipple outward in every direction of the breast (except for breastfeeding mothers, who she notes would want to move inward toward the nipple as she says it may help unclog any milk ducts). Then with the scalloped or wavy edge, you'd sweep from the swell of the breast out toward the armpit and repeat that same motion from the top as well.
There are so many aspects to self-care, but a regular breast massage is one great way to show an oft-criticized area some love. If anything, it's another ritual to help you slow down and connect with your body.
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