Okay, that title was a bit harsh, I know, but we’ve all seen the ads of just how perfect ‘the girls’ can look in one of those tight underwire pushup bras, right? The problem is that no one is bothering to tell us that those same bras could actually be INCREASING our chances for breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Here’s why: First off, as Dr. Michael Schacter, MD states in his article, The Prevention and Complementary Treatment of Breast Cancer: “Over 85% of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow. The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.” The other aspect is the underwire. Metal acts as an antenna which will attract electromagnetic fields. This can increase risks of cardiovascular disease. Johns Hopkins performed research showing that there is a direct relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and the speed and rhythm of the heart. Prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields can result in irregular heart rhythms and in extreme cases, heart failure. In the book Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, medical anthropologists Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer conducted a study of over 4,000 women and found that women who do not wear bras have a much lower risk of breast cancer.
Here is what they found:
1. Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
2. Women who wore bras more than 12 hours per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk.
3. Women who wore bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk.
4. Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer.
Another interesting finding in this study was that about 90 percent of fibrocystic patients improved when they quit wearing bras! So here’s the deal, I don’t know about you but I’m not prepared to run around braless! The good news is that there are plenty of new options out there. Step one is to at least start to wear a wireless bra (even Victoria’s Secret now has quite nice wireless options). There are also bras called leisure bras. These include Genie Bra, Aire Bra, and the Ahh Bra. Once you settle into the right one, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner! I would also recommend massaging your lymph nodes after a day of wearing a bra to make sure all the lymphatics are draining properly and not blocking your toxins from leaving your body. So grab a girlfriend and an organic water processed decaf coffee or tea and head out for a fun day of bra shopping!