From Massage To Exercise: How To Get Great Breasts
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Work Out Smarter
There are no exercises for your breasts per se, particularly the glandular tissue inside, but working on your chest muscles can help create a more lifted appearance. Vanessa Michielon, movement specialist and founder of the Transformative Movement Method, tells us resistance training – whether in the form of bodyweight, bands or weights – is essential. “For a toned, more lifted appearance, focus on strengthening the main muscles in your chest (aka your pecs) which reside under your breast tissue. Variations on a plank, press-ups and any form of upper body exercise that targets your pecs are powerful tools. Try a lying chest press with a set of dumbbells that challenges you, pulls with resistance bands and dynamic forms of yoga that include lots of planks, chaturangas and downward facing dogs.” For a perkier chest, aim for 15-20 minutes, three times a week – and also think about side planks and triceps dips, which will strengthen your arms in other planes to help you better perform chest-specific exercises.
Do Some DIY Massage
For Katie Brindle, Chinese medicine practitioner and founder of the Hayo’u Method, healthy breasts need a healthy liver. “Stagnant, negative liver energy can impact breast health,” she tells us. “According to Chinese wisdom, if the liver energy or qi (life force) isn’t flowing smoothly, it can impact the health of the breasts and nearby lymph nodes. One of the simplest ways to encourage better flow is tapping, either with a bamboo tapper or a loosely clenched fist. The exit point of your liver channel is just below the breast. Begin by tapping the underarm area, continuing down the side of the body to the waist, under the breast along the diaphragm, and around the abdomen – avoiding tapping directly over the breast tissue. This will encourage the smooth flow of blood and qi, and invigorate the lymphatic drainage system so toxins and stagnant energy can naturally flow away.”
A simple breast massage can also help tone muscles and tendons around the breasts, keeping them firm, and the skin nourished. “With firm, yet gentle pressure, begin tracing circles with your fingertips between the breasts for 30 seconds, then do the same just before your armpit. Then, gently massage under the breasts with soft pinching movements before doing the same in the armpit area. This will encourage the drainage of toxins,” says Katie.
Supercharge Your Skincare
You’ve heard it before, but there’s a reason your skincare should extend down to your chest. “The skin on your breasts and around your chest area is thin and vulnerable to sensitivity,” says Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic. “Plus, it’s often exposed to sunlight and other environmental challenges, which take their toll on collagen production and affect the skin’s scaffolding at a deep layer. This ultimately causes the skin to appear looser with a thin, crepe-like appearance. If you notice creases and lines in this area in the morning, this is a sign of ageing. Early evidence of sun damage can also include uneven pigmentation, moles, spider veins and melasma.” Sound familiar? It’s never too late to take action, says Catherine. “Any treatment needs to start with prevention of further damage. Always wear broad-spectrum UV protection on your chest when it’s exposed, and don’t discount the role of hydration. During the winter months, look for products that contain ceramides, and in the spring and summer months, hyaluronic acid will hydrate without congestion. Exfoliate the skin around your chest and breasts once a week using an AHA/BHA and if you are particularly worried about ageing, use a vitamin C serum. Antioxidant serums are very well tolerated by chest and breast skin, and keep an eye out for products that support the skin’s microbiome.”
Deal With Breakouts
If your décolletage is prone to blemishes, you’re not alone. “Spots in this area are very common, especially if you are active,” adds Catherine. “This can happen when sweat remains on the skin, causing bacterial overgrowth and blocked and inflamed pores.” If you’ve just started getting breakouts around your chest, look carefully at the products you’re using and make sure you aren’t staying in workout clothes for too long, she advises. And when it comes to products, look for formulas that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide. “These all have slightly different modes of action from increasing turnover of the top dead layers of the skin to unclogging pores and blitzing bacteria,” Catherine says.
Check Them Regularly
Get into the habit of checking your breasts at least once a month. “It’s important to know how your breasts look and feel. That way, you can spot any changes quickly,” Debashis Ghosh, consultant breast and oncoplastic surgeon, tells us. “Using the flat of your hand, look for any lumps under the armpits and watch out for persistent breast pain. It’s also important to look for any changes in the nipples, including itching or colour changes.” Not sure what you’re looking for? “This is one of the most common questions I get asked,” says Debashis. “A lump may feel like a pea or a lemon, or it may be as large as an orange. It can be irregular in shape and have a rough surface, or they may be mobile and fixed. They may feel soft like your lips or firm like the tip of your nose, or hard like the bone on your forehead.”
For additional support and advice, download Katie Brindle’s Breast Health, Liver and Spleen Guides and register for her newsletter at KatieBrindle.com. You can find Vanessa on Instagram @VanessaMichielon and you can join her practices online at VanessaMichielon.com. Also visit CadoganClinic.com & DBGhosh.com
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