Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Average cost of breast lift in south carolina

The cost for a breast lift in South Carolina varies depending on:

-The complexity of your procedure

-The location of the practice you choose

-Whether you need to travel to the practice for your procedure or if it can be performed in an office setting

An average breast lift in South Carolina costs between $2,000 and $4,000.

Keep in mind that these are just baseline numbers. The more complex your procedure is, the higher the cost will be. If you require more extensive work, you should expect to pay at least several thousand dollars more than these numbers indicate.

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Average cost of breast lift in south carolina

A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure that treats sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the remaining tissue. The end result is less sagginess, along with more shapely and contoured breasts.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it’s estimated that surgical breast lifts have gone up 70 percent since 2000. This procedure now surpasses other surgical breast treatments such as implants.

Despite their increased popularity, even more patients are opting for nonsurgical breast lifts.

Nonsurgical breast lifts means that no cuts or incisions are involved. You also don’t have to be put under general anesthesia.

Nonsurgical procedures are arguably safer because they don’t pose the risks that a mastopexy might such as:

  • infection
  • bleeding
  • scarring

Nonsurgical breast lifts won’t provide the same dramatic results as a traditional mastopexy might. However, they’re still worth considering if you’re looking for a way to perk up your breasts with less risk and expense.

Here are 11 nonsurgical breast lift options that you can discuss with a dermatologic or cosmetic surgeon to see if they might be right for you.

1. Aptos threading

The Aptos threading procedure is designed to physically move the skin around your breasts in an upward motion.

Aptly nicknamed the “breast feather lift,” this treatment uses small barbed Aptos threads.

A cosmetic surgeon inserts the threads beneath your skin via a hypodermic needle. The threads are then secured together and pulled upward toward your collarbone.

Despite the use of implanted threads, the Aptos procedure is still a noninvasive breast lift, with results lasting up to 2 years.

Best of all, it doesn’t cause scars like traditional incisions, and the threads dissolve in 1–2 years.

Average cost

According to, the average cost of an Aptos thread lift is $2,K250.

2. Caci bust treatment

First created as a form of muscle injury treatment, the Caci bust treatment targets your chest muscles. Using a handheld device, a surgeon focuses electric pulses on the muscles surrounding your breasts.

The end results are more toned chest muscles that help create a lifting and smoothing effect for your breasts.

Like any other form of muscle strengthening, your results are dependent on time and frequency. A surgeon will likely recommend sessions for a few times a week for up to several weeks to see full results.

Average cost

A package of Caci treatments can cost up to $2,000.

3. Laser treatments

Laser therapy uses high-power energy beams to remove dead skin cells while also increasing collagen production. For this reason, laser treatments are commonly used for advanced wrinkle therapy, age spots, and scars.

Increased collagen production can slightly increase skin elasticity in your chest area, but any “lifting” results would be temporary and minor at best. And repeated treatments are necessary to see any visible results.

Part of the problem is that the ligaments in your breast tissue aren’t made in the same way as those in your face, so you may not get the same tightening results in your breasts that you would in facial skin.

Laser treatments carry the risk for:

  • scarring
  • bleeding
  • pain

Skin color changes are also possible.

Average cost

The average laser treatment can range between $1,144 and $2,071.

4. Thermkage

Thermage is another type of collagen-stimulating procedure. It uses radio waves to help tighten the protein fibers within your skin.

During the process, a cosmetic surgeon uses a device called a ThermaCool, which helps deliver radio waves to deeper skin layers. After a Thermage treatment, you’ll likely see tighter skin immediately.

Tightened collagen fibers in the chest area can also enhance your natural contours. However, you’ll need to repeat your treatment, as these effects are only temporary. Thermage works best in cases of mild sagging.

Average cost

The average cost for Thermage treatment is $1,802 per session.

5. The Renuvion™/J-Plasma® device

The Renuvion™/J-Plasma® device is a newer technology for less invasive tightening.

Cold plasma energy promotes skin contraction as well as the production of new collagen.

The Renuvion™/J-Plasma® device carefully delivers rejuvenating effects to the target area and defines natural contours of the body utilizing helium gas ionized with radio frequency (RF) energy.

Similar to Thermage, the procedure involves the plastic surgeon inserting a probe under the skin that needs to be tightened and treating it with the plasma energy.

There are some minimal results immediately with longer-acting results taking several months as the new collagen is developed.

Only one treatment is usually necessary.

Average cost

The average cost for Renuvion™/J-Plasma® treatment is between $3,000 and $15,000, according to

As a procedure using newer technology, cost estimates may be limited. For specific information regarding expected costs, talk with your plastic surgeon.

6. Vampire breast lift

A vampire breast lift (VBL) is an anti-aging procedure that uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your own blood. The overall goal of a VBL is to slightly lift your breasts, similar to that of wearing a push-up bra.

While this procedure won’t treat sagging breasts per se, it can give the appearance of a lift with the help of increased blood circulation along with less noticeable wrinkles and scars.

Like other cosmetic procedures, a VBL is performed by cosmetic and dermatologic surgeons. The results are seen gradually within a few months, with the overall results lasting a couple of years.

The VBL isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those who have a history of breast cancer.

Average cost

On average, a VBL costs $1,700.

7. Botox injections

Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections work by relaxing the muscles underneath your skin. This helps to create a smoothing effect on the skin’s surface.

Botox was first introduced on the market for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. Since then, it’s also been approved to help treat chronic migraines.

While some physicians may use Botox injections in the pectoral area to prevent slouching shoulders, this treatment isn’t FDA-approved as a breast-lifting method. The results are minor and last up to 4 months.

Average cost

The average cost of Botox injections is $376 per treatment. Chest exKercises could produce similar results at a much lesser cost.

8. Dermal fillers

Other injections typically used for the face are also being considered for the breast area. These include hyaluronic acid (HA)-based dermal (soft tissue) fillers, such as Juvéderm and Restylane.

The most common dermal filler for this use is Sculptra, which is a poly-L lactic acid. It lasts several months when injected. It stimulates the body to produce new collagen in the area that’s treated. It usually requires several treatments to see any results.

While not invasive, cosmetic fillers aren’t considered go-to treatments for the breast area due to lack of long-term studies on their efficacy.

Also, please note that all the dermal fillers listed here are not FDA-approved for injection in the breastTrusted Source.

Average cost

Cosmetic fillers are charged by the syringe, so your overall cost would depend on how many are used for breast lifting. In 2018, the average HA syringe costs $682.

9. Chest exercises

Exercise not only helps shrink body fat cells, but certain types of exercise can also strengthen and tone. Upper body exercises, such as push-ups and triceps dips, help strengthen the chest muscles.

If you want to further target the muscles in your chest, the American Council on Exercise found that the top three chest exercises are:

  • barbell bench presses
  • pec deck machine reps
  • bent-forward cable crossovers

While chest exercises strengthen and tone your muscles, no workout will give you the same lift in the breasts that surgery and other cosmetic procedures can.

Instead, you might consider chest exercises if your skin elasticity is intact overall and you have minimum to mild sagging. Consider working with a trainer if you’re new to strength training exercises.

10. Try a new bra

Bras are used for comfort and support, and you may even opt for versions with different colors and fabrics for fun.

When it comes to lifting your breasts, though, a new bra can be one of the most affordable and accessible options available. Wearing the right bra can also help prevent your breasts from sagging in the first place.

The only way you can know whether you need a new-size bra is by determining the right fit for you. Consider these fitting tips here.

If you’re still unsure, make an appointment with an expert at your local bra boutique.

11. The skinny on skin creams

Just as there are anti-aging creams to help minimize the appearance of sagging skin on your face, there are shaping creams designed for your neck and chest.

These creams promise to help tone your skin while minimizing fine lines and age spots.

While less expensive options in the short run, shaping creams can’t actually lift your breasts. Instead, the skin treated around your breasts might look firmer and feel softer.

Key takeaways

Nonsurgical breast lifts won’t offer the same results as traditional surgery, but they may be worth considering if you don’t want to undergo a full mastopexy.

If you still don’t want surgery, ask your plastic surgeon about other breast lifting options for which you may be a candidate.

Regardless of what you decide, it’s important to work with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

Beware of any procedure that promises dramatic lifting to your breasts with little work. If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is.

Last medically reviewed on February 26, 2020

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Are There Exercises That Will Naturally Increase Breast Size?

two people positioned face-to-face performing push-ups
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Maybe you own a dress you think would fit better if your chest was a little bouncier. Maybe you wish your chest was a bit more pronounced. Or maybe you’ve got some chest dysphoria.

Regardless, if you’re reading this it’s because you want to know: Is it possible to increase breast size naturally?

Below, learn what impacts breast size, as well as seven exercises that you can do at home with weights or at the gym to build stronger, fuller chest muscles.

What’s the short answer?

The short answer: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to alter the shape of your breasts naturally.

Changing the size and shape of your breasts often requires a surgical procedure, such as breast augmentation (aka implants).

That’s because the size of your breasts is determined by a combination of your:

  • genetics
  • hormones
  • body weight
  • lifestyle
  • potential life stage, such as pregnancy

Is it possible to enlarge your breasts without surgery?

If breast enhancement surgery isn’t on your to-do list (fair!), you might be wondering whether there are natural ways to change your breast size.

The truth is that there are very few things you can do naturally that will increase the overall size of your breast or chest tissues.

That said, exercise can change the overall appearance of your pectoral muscles, which lie under your breast tissues. Targeting these muscles through strength training exercises (like the ones listed below!) can result in a change in chest-tissue size, density, strength, and tone.


While these exercises are not likely to impact your cup size, they may shift the appearance of your breasts over time.

Wait, chest exercises can impact breast size?

Just as strength training canTrusted Source increase the size, strength, endurance, and tone of your leg or arm muscles, it can alter your chest muscles.

Isolation chest exercises like the chest press, pullovers, and flys, in particular, are likely to lead to changes in the shape and size of your pectoral muscles.

But changing your chest muscles is *not* necessarily the same as increasing breast size. It’s just an increase in the pectoral muscles, which lie underneath the breasts.

Sure, some people may be able to grow their chest muscles enough that they go up a bra size. After all, strength training — especially with heavy weights and/or high reps — can lead to muscle growth.

But just as not everyone who hits arm day will need to buy bigger shirts to fit their bicep muscles, not everyone who hits chest day will need bigger bras to fit their chest muscles. Makes sense!


Strength training exercises can help increase strength and size in your chest muscles. But that’s different than changing the size of the breast itself.

The 7 best exercises for stronger, fuller chest muscles

Now that you know there’s a difference between increasing pec muscle size and breast size, do you still want to strength train your chest? Cool.

Read on for seven of the best movements you can do to boost strength and fulness in your chest muscles.

1. Dumbbell chest press

A home and gym-friendly exercise, the dumbbell chest press targets the pectorals as well as your shoulders, and triceps. Woot!

If you don’t have a set of dumbbells (or a set of dumbbells that’s light enough!) you can also use two soup cans or water bottles.

if you have access to a flat bench, you’ll lie on that. If not, you can do the exercise from the ground.

  1. Grab a set of dumbbells and hold one in each hand. Choose a weight that you can press at least 8 times.
  2. Lie with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and slightly apart.
  3. Keeping your head on the floor or bench, begin the press by extending your arms over your chest, palms facing away from your face.
  4. Brace your midline by thinking about drawing your belly button into your spine.
  5. Slowly bend both elbows until they are parallel with the ground.
  6. Pause. Then repeat, pressing the weight overhead until both arms are fully extended.
  7. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
person performing a dumbbell chest press

2. Dumbbell pec fly

Tell your ego to take a seat. The pec fly is *not* a movement that should be performed with heavy weight.

Unlike the chest press, which is primarily a strength movement, the pec fly is more of a stretch. When you try this exercise you’ll feel exactly what we mean.

With every rep, you’ll help ease the tightness in your pecs and front shoulder muscles.

Oh, and yes, you can do this move at home or the gym. All you need is some very lightweight dumbbells (or cans).

  1. Grab a set of light dumbbells and hold one in each hand.
  2. Lie on the floor or bench with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and slightly apart.
  3. Begin the fly by pressing your arms over your chest, palms facing each other, elbows slightly bent.
  4. Engage the core muscles by drawing your ribs down the body.
  5. Keeping elbows stiff, slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc motion to nipple height. You should feel a stretch in the chest muscles.
  6. Pause, then reverse the movement until your arms are extended. Squeeze the chest at the top of the movement.
  7. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
person performing a dumbbell pec fly

3. Alternating dumbbell press

As you might guess, the alternating dumbbell press is the same as the dumbbell press except for the fact that you’re only moving one dumbbell at a time.

Single-limb movements like this, which call on one side to work at a time, require a tremendous amount of stability (read: midline engagement). As a result, in addition to working your chest, shoulders, and triceps, this movement also works your core.

In other words, you get a tremendous amount of bang for your buck.

You can do alternating dumbbell chest press move at home or in the gym. But if you’re doing it at the gym, use a bench for extra support.

  1. Grab a set of dumbbells and hold one in each hand, palms facing one another. Choose a weight that you can press at least 8 times.
  2. Lay with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor at hips width. Engage your midline.
  3. Extending your arms over your chest. Keeping the left dumbbell where it is, slowly lower the right dumbbell toward the chest until your elbow is at or just below parallel with the ground.
  4. Pause, then press the weight overhead until the right arm is fully extended and the right palm is facing the left palm.
  5. Repeat, this time moving your left time.
  6. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, on each side.
person performing an alternating dumbbell chest press
Gif by Dima Bazak

4. Push-ups

Push-ups may be an easy exercise to hate, but they are one of the most versatile chest exercises out there. Not only can you perform them anywhere, but you can scale them to any strength level.

Plus, they strengthen your entire body all at once — with a special focus on your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

You can also modify this move to better suit your current fitness level.

Rather than starting from a high plank position, try it on your knees. Just don’t forget to maintain that straight line from knee to head as you do. Or, start with pushups on the wall.

  1. Start on the floor in a high plank position, wrists stacked under shoulders.
  2. Press the ground away with your palms and brace your midline. Pull your shoulder blades away from your neck and down your back.
  3. Squeeze your quads, glutes, and core. Then lower yourself toward the floor by bending at elbows along your body.
  4. Lower down until your chest hovers about one to two inches from the floor. Pause, and exhale as you press your body back to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
person performing a push-up

5. Stability ball chest press

Ready to level up the dumbbell chest press with a challenging twist? Consider performing it on an exercise or stability ball.

In addition to targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps, the stability ball chest press also recruits your abdominal and gluteal muscles.

Important: Make sure to choose a stability ball that is appropriate for your height and provides enough support for your shoulders and upper back.

  1. Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Sit on the exercise ball and slowly walk your feet out in front of you. Keep walking until your upper back is in contact with the ball. Your arms should be at your sides and feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  3. Straighten your arms until the dumbbells are above the chest, palms facing forward.
  4. Tighten your core and glutes and slowly lower the dumbbells until they are about chest level. Stop lowering before your arms touch the ball.
  5. Pause, then press the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended.
  6. Do 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
person performing a stability ball chest press

6. Up-down plank

Try some up-down planks for an equipment-free chest pump.

This body-weight exercise is an excellent pec-pumper. If you do it long enough, it should also jack up your heart rate. Win-win.

Note: You can also do this exercise from your knees, like the aforementioned modified pushup position.

  1. Get into a forearm plank position, making sure you could make a straight line from heel to head.
  2. Tighten your core, look down, and slightly ahead. Lift your right arm to place the hand directly under the shoulder and straighten the right arm. Then do the same with your left hand until you are in a high plank position.
  3. Squeeze core and legs at the top. Then, reverse the movement by lowering the right elbow to the floor.
  4. Repeat on the left side until you are in the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 to 30 seconds, resting as needed between rounds.
person performing an up-down plank

7. Dumbbell pullover

The lying dumbbell pullover is an intermediate exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, back, and triceps. Quadruple win? Not too shabby.

In the top position of this move, you should feel a nice stretch in your upper back and chest.

  1. Grab a dumbbell with both hands, with your palms up like you’re cradling the head with both hands.
  2. Lie down on a bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Fully extend your arms to the ceiling.
  4. Keeping the elbows stiff, lower the dumbbell behind your head.
  5. Pause, then reverse the movement by contracting your core and triceps and pull the dumbbell over your head to the starting position.
  6. Do 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
person performing a dumbbell pullover

What else impacts your breast size?

There isn’t one single factor that dictates breast size. The shape and size of your breasts is a combination of the below.


Yep, researchKTrusted Source shows you can thank (or nag) your bloodline for your boob shape and size.

Body weight and body fat

Breasts are made up of fatty tissue, glandular tissue, and supportive tissue. But it’s the fatty tissue that largely determines the size of your breasts. So, if you put on body fat, you may see an increase in breast size.


More specifically: whether you’re pre, peri, or postmenopausal.

Some data shows that 61 percent of people notice a change in breast size after menopause, while 20 percent notice a change in breast shape.

Pregnancy status

Did you know that enlarged breasts are one of the first signs of pregnancy? Yep. This is due to an increase in the hormone progesterone, which plays a key role during pregnancy

As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll also begin to secrete prolactin, a hormone that causes milk production and breast growth.

(That’s why if you choose to nurse, you may continue to notice a fullness in your breasts for months after giving birth).

Where you are in your menstrual cycle

Finally, those pesky hormones that fluctuate throughout the month can play a role in how full or swollen your breasts feel.

If you’re on hormone replacement therapy or taking hormonal birth control, you may notice that your breasts feel more tender and sore.


Genetics, hormones, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight gain can all impact breast size.

Can diet impact your breast size?

Good question! Diet alone will *not* impact your breast size.

But again, weight gain and body fat fluctuations can. So, if you gain weightTrusted Source, you may notice an increase in fatty tissue in your chest.

But you will likely notice that other parts of your body have grown in size too.

Do alternative breast enlargement methods work?

There are a number of alternative methods that claim to enlarge breasts.

These methods range from as common-place as push-up bras and self-massage, to as suspect as creams, pills, and pumps.

But do they work? It depends on the method.

Push-up bras

A push-up bra is a padded bra that’s designed to lift the chest tissue in such a way that your breasts appear larger when wearing the bra.

For many people, push-up bras do effectively give the appearance of larger breasts while they’re being utilized.

Push-up bras, however, do not actually change the shape of your chest. Take the bra off and your breasts will be the same size.


No, you cannot massage your breasts into becoming larger.

Sure, touching your tatas might feel good but it won’t lead to growth.


No, we’re not talking about breast milk pumps.

We’re talking about pumps that claim to increase the size of your breasts. (Some of these are automatic and some are manual).

Manufacturers claim that these pumps promote blood flow to the chest tissue, which supports tissue growth, leading to larger breasts. (Many manufacturers claim an increase of 1 to 2 cup sizes within 3 months).

One (very very small!) studyTrusted Source found these claims may not be far off. Researchers found that when 18 cisgender women wore pumps for 10 to 12 hours a day for 10 weeks they had long lasting size increases.

That said, user reviews vary from product to product. And healthcare professionals aren’t convinced that the growth is permanent or safe.

Creams and ointments

Search “breast enlargement cream” on Google and a number of over-the-counter (OTC) ointments, creams, and lotions will pop up.

Usually, these OTC options contain a combination of phytoestrogens (plant products that are said to mimic the effect of estrogen), aphrodisiacs, and adaptogens.

But there is no research that suggests these ingredients work. On the contrary, the very few studies that have been done on these herbal topicals say they don’tTrusted Source.

PSA: It’s important to note that OTC breast enlargement creams aren’t the same as gender-affirming estrogen hormone replacement therapy that’s applied topically. Prescription estrogen hormone replacement therapy can help someone grow breasts.

The bottom line

Natural remedies and lifestyle changes aren’t going to move the needle on your chest size.

If you want to improve pectoral strength, functions, and tone you can include chest-specific exercises in your overall fitness routine.

While increasing pectoral muscle strength and size isn’t going to significantly increase your breast size, exercising may help you feel more confident — including your confidence around your breasts.

Remember: At the end of the day, your breast size doesn’t determine your beauty or value.

Last medically reviewed on April 4, 2022

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5 Benefits of Breast Massage

  • Purpose
  • How to
  • Risks
  • Takeaway


Breast massage is a tool you can use for many purposes, from identifying breast cancer and easing sore muscles to improving your breastfeeding experience. Even just 15 minutes of massage may be enough to reap the benefits.

You can perform breast massage on yourself. There are very few risks involved, so you can do it as often as you like. Here’s more about why you may want to massage your breasts, how to do it, and when you may want to see your doctor.HEALTHLINE CHALLENGEGet More Greens! (and Reds and Purples…)

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Why do women massage their breasts?

1. Lactating women

There’s a growing amount of research suggesting that breast massage may have many benefits for lactating women.

For example, in one study, a group of new breastfeeding mothers were given two 30-minute breast massages in the 10 days after giving birth. Compared to the control group who didn’t receive the massage, these mothers experienced less breast pain while feeding.

Not only that, but their babies also suckled more at the breast, and the milk itself contained less sodium.

In a study from 2004, researchers found that breast massage greatly increased the quality of breast milk when performed in the first year after delivery. The parts of the milk that improved with massage included the:

  • solids
  • lipids
  • casein concentration
  • gross energy

The most benefits were seen between the first day and 11 months postpartum. The only property of the milk that wasn’t changed in either the early or late lactation period was the lactose content.

Massage may also help improve the flow of milk. An older study from 1994 suggests that the combination of suckling and massage works to both empty the milk ducts and encourage the production of more milk.

Massage may also help prevent and treat issues like engorgement, plugged milk ducts, or mastitis, an infection of the breast tissue.

2. Early identification of breast cancer

Breast self-exams and massage are ways to identify breast cancer at its earliest stages. According to one studyTrusted Source, some 25 percent of women end up detecting their breast cancer through self-exam. Another 18 percent discover cancer by accident.

Detecting cancer in the early stages may improve your outcome, so it’s a good idea to make it part of your regular routine.

3. Improved breast appearance

Some people try breast massage as a way to improve the appearance of saggy breasts. The belief is that you may increase blood flow to breast tissue through massage. Others use specific oils, like olive oil, in an attempt to help improve skin firmness and elasticity.

Most evidence of this is anecdotal. But in one studyTrusted Source, researchers discovered that striae gravidarum — more commonly referred to as stretch marks — may be prevented by massaging skin with oil.

As part of the study, pregnant women were asked to either apply bitter almond oil to their bodies without massage, or to massage their bodies for 15 minutes a day using the almond oil.

At the end of the study, the women who used the oil and massage together had fewer stretch marks. The almond oil on its own didn’t provide much benefit.

4. Lymphatic system

Your breast tissue extends all the way into the area under your armpit. There are many lymph nodes in this part of the body, and massaging them may help stimulate your lymphatic system.

Your lymphatic system is responsible for helping your body flush out toxins. If you’ve had surgery on your lymph nodes, you may experience a buildup of waste fluids called lymphedema. You may also hear this type of breast massage referred to as manual lymph drainage.

According to researchTrusted Source, more than 1 in 5 people with breast cancer develop lymphedema. Symptoms include swelling in the arm, breast, or chest. Usually, it results from surgery or radiation.

Standard treatment often involves using compression to relieve the swelling.

A 2004 study examined the combination of bandaging and massage to treat breast-related lymphedema. Researchers found that adding massage showed more significant improvement than just bandaging.

Even if you don’t have lymphedema, breast massage may help rid your body of toxins trapped in the lymphatic system.

5. Sore muscles

If you’re feeling sore, breast massage can also help ease the tension in your chest muscles. These muscles are called your pectorals. Perhaps you participate in activities, exercises, or sports that strain these muscles.

The pectorals are shaped like triangles and rest underneath your breasts. If you develop tension in your back, you may compensate by tensing your chest muscles as well.

Massage to the chest can bring on more lasting relaxation than massaging the back alone. In fact, if you have only your back massaged, your brain will still sense tension in your chest when your session is complete.

As a result, the brain may send tension back to your back to rebalance the forces in the two areas of your body.

How to perform breast massage

The massage method you use may differ depending on the benefits you’re looking to receive.

For lactation

There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to massage your breasts for lactation. Massage may be used with or without hand expression. Hand expression is the use of your hand to remove breast milk, rather than through a pump or breastfeeding.

Follow these steps:

  1. Focus on one breast at a time. Place four fingers of one hand on the top of the breast and four fingers of the other hand on the bottom. Massage in a circular pattern. This may feel best if your hands are warm.
  2. Move your attention to the sides of your breasts, continuing in a circular pattern. You may even want to make fists with your hands and gently roll or knead your breast.
  3. Try using your fingertips to tap and massage all over your breasts as well.
  4. If you do wish to hand express, position your index finger behind the base of your nipple. Bring your fingers together while gently applying pressure to the breast, pushing the milk toward the nipple, expressing (removing) the breast milk. Adjust your position as needed. Squeeze rhythmically, at the rate of a heartbeat.
  5. Hand expression before and after pumping may also help you empty your breasts.

For cancer detection

If you’re checking your breasts for signs of cancer, it’s important to remember that your breast actually extends under your armpit. Don’t forget to check the whole breast, including your nipple, areola, and this extending area.

While you’re at it, tell your partner to let you know of any lumps or bumps they feel as well.

Follow these steps:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror and do a visual check of your breasts. Look for any size differences, color changes, or shape differences. Place your hands at your sides, then on your hips, and then above your head to see from different angles.
  2. While still looking in the mirror, place one hand behind your head and place three fingers on your breast. Move your fingers in small circles over your breast tissue. Apply light, medium, and hard pressure as you walk your fingers to cover all areas.
  3. Move your fingers to the area under your armpit, and continue with small circles as you walk your fingers along.
  4. Repeat the massage on the other breast.
  5. Finish your massage by squeezing each nipple to look for any discharge or pain. If you experience either one of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.

For breast appearance

Again, there are few formal studies to suggest that breast massage changes the breasts’ appearance. Still, there’s evidence that massaging the breasts with oil may help prevent stretch marks, at least in pregnant women. It may be beneficial in other ways as well.

ResearchersTrusted Source suggest starting massage with almond oil early in pregnancy for 15 minutes each day. Only 20 percent of the women who followed this regimen developed stretch marks.

In the control group, 41 percent of women had stretch marks, so this method reduced the incidence by half.

For lymph drainage

Lymph drainage massage starts with the axillary area under your arms. This is where you may actually be able to feel your lymph nodes under the skin.

Continue the massage by moving upward in a clockwise direction on the right breast and counterclockwise on the left breast. This mimics the direction of the lymphatic system.

A practitioner may use both hands to gently apply pressure in light strokes the entire way around the breast and underarm. After the circle is complete, your practitioner may pump the breast inward several times using both hands.

You may also try this type of massage on your own. You may even feel the nodes draining under your touch. If you’ve had recent surgeries or other issues, it may be best to leave this type of massage to the professionals.

For muscle tension

Massage of the breasts and chest muscles is similar, but slightly different. With breast massage, the nipple is often involved. This isn’t the case with massage of the pectorals.

When dealing with the chest muscles, a massage therapist may focus more on the three areas where these muscles attach to the body. While you may be able to relieve tension yourself, a licensed massage therapist might better manipulate your muscles for the most relief.

If you feel uncomfortable having this area massaged by a stranger, that’s understandable. A professional should first inform you if they plan to massage your chest, and then ask for your consent. Breast massage isn’t a normal part of professional massage.

For people with medical conditions who need help with lymphatic damage, tell your doctor about your plans to get breast massage.

Are there any risks?

There aren’t many risks associated with massaging your breasts.

If you’ve had breast cancer or surgery on your breasts, you may want to be careful around any lumps, scars, or areas that have recently received radiation. In these cases, it may be best to seek breast massage from a licensed massage therapist.

If you suspect you may have mastitis, make an appointment with your doctor. Massage can help, but you may also need medications to clear up the infection.

Mastitis often develops in the first few months after giving birth. Other symptoms might include fever, pain, swelling, and chills.

The takeaway

Breast massage may ease a range of conditions, from plugged milk ducts to sore muscles. It may even save your life. It’s generally safe to try breast massage on your own.

If you’re dealing with specific medical issues, though, it may be a better idea to consult with a professional for regular care. And if you notice any new lumps or other changes in your breasts, let your doctor know as soon as possible to rule out cancer.

Last medically reviewed on July 30, 2019

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