Remember when you were told tobacco was safe? Remember when you were told fast foods were healthy? Have you been told bras are good for you? Well, it seems the truth is out there, and it's something you might not want to hear.
Breast Cancer risks correlated to bra wearing habits Women wearing bras 24 hours a day have a 3 out 4 chance of developing breast cancer, as opposed to a 1 out 168 chance for those who rarely or never wear a bra. The bottom line seems to be, the longer you wear a bra, the greater the risk to your health (Source: abcnews). Although the medical profession predictably remains sceptic, there is a growing body of supporting evidence. A link between bras and cancer is something to be taken very seriously by every woman.
Women evolved bra-free Did you know that in Sub-Saharan Africa, the death rate from breast cancer is 3 per 100,000, compared to 20 per 100,000 in industrialized countries? Guess which part of the world wears bras? (Source: Women's Environment and Development Organisation). "Breasts don't need support to be held up in the air. That's not what thousands of years of evolution did to the female body." - Sidney Ross Singer, medical anthropologist Why bras cause breast cancer?
The lymphatic system consists of tiny, thin-walled vessels that drain from the breast tissue, removing toxins, cell debris, cancer cells and other products. Unlike arteries and veins, these vessels have no internal pressure and are therefore easily compressed. Bras subject breasts to pressure, closing off the lymphatic pathway from the breast to the nodes. This causes fluid build-up, swelling, tenderness and cyst formation. A bra-constricted breast cannot adequately flush out toxins, resulting in toxin accumulation in the breast that increases the chance of breast cancer.
Why do we wear bras? Which brings to mind the question, "Why do we wear bras in the first place... because it's socially unacceptable not to?" Well, bras have been around for less than 100 years! During the Renaissance corsettes were worn not to hide, but to expose the breast. Before then, all the way back to Adam and Eve, there was nothing simply put, nothing. Interestingly, there seems to be direct correlation between the popularity of bras and the rise of capitalism. Yes, bras are fashionable, aren't they? The bra industry is worth £500m annually and women are relentlessly exposed to advertising campaigns. (Source: BBC News. See also Bra makers wage a new battle of the bulge and Battle of the bulges). Another favourite argument for wearing bras seems to the notion that it prevents sagging. Well, girls, surprise, surprise, there's no medical reason to wear a bra (The Complete Book Of Breast Care by Niels H. Lauersen, M.D., Ph.D., & Eileen Stukane). A mistaken popular belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and no bra changes that (Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book by Susan M. Love, M.D. ) Going bra-free can actually cause breasts to sag less (Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book by Susan M. Love, M.D.).
Want to prevent or treat Fibrocystic Breast Disease? For years, doctors have recommended that women avoid caffeine, high fat diets, etc. to prevent fibrocystic breast disease. Recent research has shown a strong connection between the wearing of bras and benign fibrocystic lumps, cysts and pain. 90% of women with fibrocystic changes find improvement when they stop wearing their brassieres. This exciting new "treatment" has No side effects, costs nothing, and is something that women try for themselves by making a personal and ALL-NATURAL clothing choice. Read six case histories written by women who found relief of fibrocystic breast disease by going bra-free.
Want to prevent headaches or neck pain? oIf a strap is so tight that it digs into the shoulder, it puts downward pressure on the cervical nerve. The cervical nerve runs from the neck to the shoulder and is an important component of the nerve system. Damaging it can cause frequent headaches, neck pain or numbness. Over time, it can cause pain that radiates from the shoulder all the way down the arms and into the hands. Tight bra straps are especially hazardous for full-busted women, but all women are susceptible.
If you feel pressurized to wear something "Okay, I understand bras may not be good, and I don't want to chance it. But mom will disinherit me and grandma or my boyfriend will catch cold if I had to go totally bra free."
If making a statement on the de-sexualisation of the female breast or the bad influences of globalisation (read western dress culture) is not your calling then what is there to do? There is help at hand in the form of the humble camisole. If you feel pressurised to wear a bra though, please remember, make sure they're soft cotton and wire free. And above all, wear them as little as possible.
Let's spread the word and save a life (and in the process show the fashion houses who is really in charge!).
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