Friday, May 04, 2007

REVIEW: Bras and camis

While we're on the subject of mammos and breast cancer, I'd might as well reprise the possibility that wearing a tight, sexy, underwire, pushup Wonderbra or whatever might not be doing your breast health the biggest favor.

Why? The mammary glands are filled with lymphatic vessels, and this is how the breast drains toxins (and when the lymph poops out, you end up wtih lymphoma). Lymph is a fairly dense liquid, and to get it pumping you need movement (e.g., exercise moves muscles, which squeezes the lymph along), and, unattractive as this may be to us in the West, the free-swingin' National Geographic type braless breast naturally keeps the lymph moving as well.

If something impedes the cleansing process, an imbalance occurs and the sex hormone by-products become destructive molecules called free radicals that begin cellular damage (called lipid peroxidation) which could lead to breast cancer. Plus, smearing on the aluminum chlorhydrate right on top of your lympph glands (and, also blocking your sweat, another detoxification defense in the body)...doesn't sound so hot.

Interesting facts: Olga, the designer of Olga bras herself died of BREAST CANCER, and her daughter, while not overtly saying anything about the bra's role in her demise, invented a new kind of "lymph massaging" bra that basically tries to undo the lymph restriction that bras cause. Read more here and here.

Some natural health advocates suggest breast cancer as a "culturogenic" disease (i.e., a disease occuring only in cultures where people wear bra), read more here.

On the other side, I did read a story once where a woman's underwire bra saved her life because it stopped a bullet, or something.

And, okay, the bra is not going to go away. I understand that it's a little difficult, especially in the warmer weather, to go without support. Soooooo....

I really like Cottonfield's bra top; soft princess seams, organic cotton, not too tight, could use this as a top as well. It also comes in an undyed color (and lighter fabric) that works well with lighter tops. Supportive but not too restrictive, a nice wide band at the botton.

(image courtesy of Cottonfield USA)

Camisole tops are another great way to cover up without restriction. Check out Doie Design's cami top--toxin free bamboo and genuine silk accents. I find this top great to layer under another tank top, plus it's so comfy you can sleep in it.

And, don't forget, bamboo is sutainable, breathable, and antimicrobial.

(image courtesy of Doie Designs)


Miranda said...

Somehow, I've been wearing underwire bras for years and have simply adjusted to the discomfort. I really wonder whether they've contributed to my benign breast cysts...

When my last Victoria's Secret falls apart I intend to nix all wires and try the bras from "Decent Exposures" ( They are cotton and come in all sizes for every body and look like they might let some lymph circulate!

Carla said...

Camis sounds like an easy choice if you don't have D cups to haul around. Unfortunately in the culture, we have to choose between so-called "modesty" and our health. I doubt going to work in a looser fitting bra or cami with my breasts blowing in the wind will go too well with the higher ups.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the website, Miranda. I'm also an underwire wearer and have gotten so used to them, that sometimes I even fall asleep in them!

Well, I never thought I could kick deodorant, but I did, so I'm sure I can kick my underwire habit. I don't think I can go totally go braless - due to work and ego! But I will try to let "the girls" breath a little more.


Anonymous said...

I weigh 118 lbs and wear D cups. I'm a bit top heavy to say the least, I've always wanted smaller breasts, but I don't think I could ever lose enough weight to make them significantly smaller. If I don't wear a support bra, I think my breasts would totally knock me over, not to mention they can get kind of painful if I don't support them. I envy women who can just go au naturale, or run around in a loose sports bra....

Green Fertility Marie said...


and us AAs are always looking enviously upward...

Miranda said...

Folks, you don't have to go without deodorant or keep wearing a bad bra if you're a "full figure girl." I switched to Burt's Bees pump spray herbal deodorant which has no aluminum or anything chemical in it and it works! You can recycle the canister. And if you check the Decent Exposures site you can see they have very buxom women wearing their less armor-like bras. And no, I'm not a paid spokesperson for these companies.

Samantha said...

Can someone once and for all tell me if an underwire bra actually contributes to cancer? Coz everyday there is a new theory that comes up!

Green Fertility Marie said...

I don't think anyone's done studies on it...but you DO have a lot of lymph nodes around your breast.

Trudi said...

great article!!

About deoderant.. I've tried EVERYTHING natural and found, finally, that rubbing some baking soda works perfectly for me. And once I stopped using strange soaps, my BO issues went nearly away! (I only use liquid castile soap now because of no chemicals. I'm allergic to sodium laurelth sulfate/ites).

I've got DDD's hauling around! LOL! and have found that they do get toned better the more they bounce around on their own!! I'm glad to learn more! Thanks!

GreenFertility said...

Thanks, Trudi--baking soda makes great toothpaste too. And BO can be a sign of body imbalance--YES, the allergy to SLS, etc. could be a trigger. Sounds like you're getting healthy!


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