It’s come to a time in my life where I’ve decided for the most part, that I’m ditching my underwire bras. Let me say, I’m not really keen on free flowing it. I’ve had babies aaand I’ve breastfed. You do the math. It’s some type of special algebraic equation that involves stretching and sagging beyond what the mind should ever have to comprehend. But put that aside, because that’s not my reason for leaving the humble wired bra behind. For me it’s come to that time where I must put my breast health first.
As a young women I had my fair share of issues with fibrous breast tissue, lumps, bumps, scares and trips to have them checked and triple checked. They are so fibrous and lumpy I can’t tell a gland from a cyst or otherwise. I could have a cutlery set in there for all I know (although I’ve never ever had one single operation other than a c-section, so it’s pretty unlikely!). I’d previously crossed the theory of bras leading to unhealthy breast tissue due to constriction. It made complete sense to me and I’d tucked the thought away since at the time I was still nursing my children and underwire bras and breastfeeding don’t mix, for the very same reason – constriction and blocking of milk ducts.
I googled and researched and read so many ideas on bras and breast cancer. It still didn’t sit well with me. Of course a bra alone can’t cause cancer, but stacking it up against a number of factors – diet, lifestyle, stress, and environment, it began to make sense to me that it could possibly be a contributor. Try googling it and you will find hundreds of articles that insist that underwire bras do not cause cancer. But like anything that continues to stir my curiosity and keeps me awake at night, I felt there was more for me to understand. I eventually landed upon some pretty interesting information. In 1995, the authors Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer followed up on a Harvard University study and published the results in their book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. They found that pre-menopausal women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared to their fellow bra wearers. That’s pretty substantial numbers. They further researched with their own study of over 5000 women and discovered that the breast cancer risk dramatically increased in women who wore bras for 12 hours or more per day.
Of course, we are all built differently and just because I sit here complaining of boulder like lumps within my breast tissue, it doesn’t mean that is an issue for you. But, what I know is that our lymphatic system (which we all have) requires gentle support and care, and restricting toxins from being processed through the breast and underarm region leads to an accumulation of these same toxins which may increase the risk of cancer. Unrestricted drainage throughout the lymphatic system allows the body to quickly move our harmful toxins from the body that can otherwise accumulate and become risky. Many women use toxic deodorants and perfumes especially under the armpits which can contribute since what is applied to the skin goes directly into the blood stream- all local to the area in discussion. Almost all conventional products contain these harmful chemicals and toxins.
The underwire is also of further concern as it is believed to magnify electro magnetic frequencies (EMF’s). Without going right into the detail, the wires can be seen as stimulants into the body which becomes an issue not only in general but specific to the breast region. Think of it like intensified and magnified intensity of EMF’s. Not ideal. Acupuncture understand this – that is tapping a small metal pin over an acupuncture point generates a much more intense electrical stimulation. Same theory – over time, excessive stimulation especially where there may be a cyst or growth, is never a good idea. What’s more, as an acupuncturist, I use acupuncture in many instances to decrease or lessen stimulation to an affected area, not intensify it. Tonifiying (or intensifying) a certain region that shouldn’t be stimulated is only going to make the situation worse.
Rather than running off to have yourself a bra burning ceremony or freak out, because that tends to be knee-jerk response to anything out of the ordinary (all of the fear rather than staying focused on health – we are all fighting little cancers every single day), it’s great to stack all of this information up and make yourself an informed choice. There is so much you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer, tumors, growths, cysts, lumps, bumps and rocks, but I do believe we can put our best foot forward for the most part to really reduce our risk of nasties emerging. Let’s also remember, typically cancers occur from an accumulation of factors – genetics, diet, lifestyle, environment, all of which are in the mix. Living a life where we are always aiming to have our hormones in balance is key (hence why I wrote for you Well & Good) Genes alone typically aren’t enough to cause cancer. It’s how the rest of our day to day life influences our genes that is at play.
So here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of anything sinister growing throughout your breast tissue and armpit.
- Avoid wearing your bra to bed.
- Join me! I’m not going to sit here and say I’m never wearing a wired bra again, but I’m mostly now wearing either sports crop tops and bralettes as featured. I am in LOVE with them and I have sacrificed nothing at all!
- Consider reducing the amount of time you wear your bra each day. Take it off once you get in the door. Let’s be honest – we’re all itching to do this the moment we get inside anyway!
- Avoid anything that is tight, especially those that make marks or leave your breast dented. That’s a sure sign it’s too tight and restriction is inevitable.
- Avoid storing your phone in your bra – the wires and EMF’s will have a field day stimulating you!
- Consider purchasing bras that have plastic wires instead of traditional underwires. You can remove them easily too.
- Be mindful of the types of deodorant, perfumes and body products you use that are injected directly to your blood stream. This is unlike eating foods (which too can be dangers) where our digestive systems at least get a chance to try and break some of the toxins down. When toxins directly hit the blood stream, it’s a battle field in there as the body tries to gain control and ship out anything harmful. As for a good deodorant – I love MooGoo, but I hear the black chicken axilla paste is the shiz too.
- Invest in regular massages, especially those which are focused on the lymph to move out toxins especially if you do have large breasts and find that the only way to wrangle your chesticles is with a wired bra.
I’m not endorsed by any of these companies but here are some of my favourites when it comes to buying sports bras and bralettes.
I am completely obsessed with my Lorna Jane crops and bras. They all have amazing support and for somebody like me who needs a little oomph, they have padding for a little lift. I often wear these to work!
There are some beautiful lace bralettes – check out these from brands like Calvin Klein or websites like the iconic and ASOS. My absolute favourite bralette to date is my camilla bling-ified number. I honestly wear these like I would any regular bra and don’t feel like I’m missing out one bit!
The fact is, I’m off for a little check up to make sure the ‘girls’ are good in the next few weeks with an ultrasound (I’d avoid a mammogram personally). I had a good chat with my amazing integrative GP, just to get added thoughts on the topic and she agreed (confessed herself to have also move more towards no wired bras), it was the way to go for somebody like me who tends to have issues with lumpy bits. I’ve been on the no wire bandwagon for long enough now to say – it’s awesome.
Like everything I share here, it’s all about giving food for thought to make informed health choices. Perhaps next time you go to pop your phone in your bra or you purchase your next bra you might stack up what works best for you – remember no two of us are the same but always working out what’s best by following that inner voice can never get you into trouble. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself.
Have you ditched your bra? Would you even consider it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! After all, we are so all in this one together ladies! Want more girl talk like this? Check out our exclusive membership – a safe place for you to get to the bottom of your health woes! It’s fun and it gives you access to a whole world of content for as little as $15 per month. Learn more here.