Toxins aren’t easy to see, smell, or feel – but we’re surrounded by them daily. They can be found in our air, foods, cleaning products, and personal-care products. In the U.S., there are over 80,000 chemicals used commercially that have undergone little to no testing to assess their long-term impact. Because we’re exposed to them constantly, these toxic substances can have a negative impact on our health—including breast health.
Typically, detox implies following a specific diet or using certain products that help rid the body of toxins, thereby improving health. The good news is, you don’t need to follow strict protocols because the body is well-equipped to eliminate toxic substances by way of the lymphatic system, liver, and other organs. But you can help the body’s natural detoxification process by implementing simple strategies and easy lifestyle adjustments.
When you’re thinking about detoxification and eliminating the toxic substances lurking in your home, don’t get overwhelmed. First, replace the products you use daily, such as personal-care products, that may contain fragrance, phthalates, parabens, aluminum, and so on. The skin, which acts as a barrier to the outside world, is the largest and most vulnerable organ. The skin is defenseless and very permeable, so when something is applied to the skin, it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Consider this: The average woman will start the day by applying nearly 200 chemicals to the skin by way of personal-care products. Something as innocent as the daily moisturizer and antiperspirant may contain parabens and aluminum, which can be problematic. In fact, these ingredients have been found in breast cancer tissue.
Next, you’ll want to ensure the immune system is functioning adequately, which allows for an efficient lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the body’s primary immune defense and manages the elimination of toxins from the body.
Consider the following simple strategies to keep the lymphatic system functioning efficiently so it can be proficient with its job of detoxification. It will benefit not only your overall health but your breast health, too.
Ditch the Antiperspirant
This is so important for breast health! Antiperspirants prevent sweating—but sweating is essential to release the toxins we’re exposed to daily. Preventing the sweating process prevents the breast tissue from draining properly into the axillary lymph nodes and can create a toxic buildup. Using an all-natural, aluminum-free deodorant is a great start to encourage proper lymph flow. Just like your food label, the deodorant you choose should have a short list of ingredients. Look for brands with baking soda or charcoal. These ingredients will neutralize the bacteria that cause body odor but still allow the sweating process necessary for detoxification.
Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil has a unique immune-enhancing effect because it improves lymphatic flow. You may have heard of castor oil for liver detoxification, but it can also assist in detoxifying breast tissue. Applying a castor oil pack to the breasts helps improve tissue circulation, lymphatic drainage, and the elimination of toxins. In addition, castor oil packs are great for sore, tender, and fibrocystic breasts.
When choosing a castor oil, be sure to choose one that is organic, cold-pressed, hexane free, and stored in glass. Castor oil packs are easy to use but can be messy since the oil is thick and sticky. I personally use a ready-to-wear pack from Queen of Thrones. Apply a small amount of castor oil to the pack and secure the pack on the breasts for 30 minutes. This detoxification method can be done 1–2 times a month or as often as you feel is necessary. (Consult your physician before trying this method if you’re currently dealing with a breast challenge.)
Dry Skin Brushing
This is a powerful way to stimulate lymph movement and to help detox breast tissue. Dry brushing is simply brushing the skin with a dry bristle brush. The skin is the largest organ and is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification, so its ability to remove toxins via the lymph system is vital. Dry brushing is best done in the morning before showering. Always choose a natural bristle brush, apply light pressure, and gently brush one breast at a time. Brush toward the armpit, being careful around the nipples. Emphasis should be on the regions where the bra/underwire sits since this is typically the most congested area of breast tissue. Focus on areas where lymph nodes are concentrated, such as the upper outer portion of the breasts and the armpits.
Jumping on a mini trampoline is a fantastic way to circulate lymph flow. The up-and-down movement from rebounding stimulates the lymphatic system, increasing the flow of lymphatic fluid and helping clear toxins and wastes from all tissues in the body, including breast tissue. Rebound 5–10 minutes twice daily for optimal results. If you do not have a rebounder, you can sit and lightly bounce on a yoga ball or take a walk outside for 15–20 minutes or more. Whether you rebound, bounce, or walk, be sure to move your arms to facilitate upper-body lymphatic flow.
Assisting the body with detoxication is vital for overall health, and applying these simple strategies is an invaluable step in keeping the breasts healthy as well. My mission as a medical thermographer is to empower women to take a proactive approach to their breast health. I have seen many women over the years simply implement a dry skin brushing or rebounding routine and eliminate the use of antiperspirants that have observed a significant difference in their breast health. Better yet, they can also see these positive improvements on their next thermogram.
April Beaman, RDH, CTT, medical thermographer, is certified by the Professional Academy of Clinical Thermology and a professional member of Breast Thermography International. Beaman has worked in the wellness industry for over 17 years and provides medical thermal imaging and wellness support for both women and men. She is the founder of CT Thermography, located in Farmington, with satellite offices in Glastonbury, Hamden, Westport, CT, and Hadley, MA.
Connect at 860.415.1150 or CTThermography.com.