Breast Health and the Importance of Lymphatic Breast Massage
FeaturingMagdalena Wszelaki, CH, HHC
Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I’m your host, Rebekah Kelley, and today we have certified herbalist Magdalena Wszelaki with us discussing the topic Breast Health and the Importance of Lymphatic Breast Massage. Don’t forget to subscribe and get all the other variety of casts in audio, video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.
And on to our program today. Magdalena Wszelaki is the founder of Hormones Balance, a thriving online community dedicated to helping women balance hormones naturally. Magdalena is a nutrition coach, certified herbalist, a published bestselling cookbook author, speaker and educator. Her health crisis was the direct result from a highly stressful life in advertising, starting from Graves’ and Hashimoto’s disease, total burnout, and estrogen dominance. Today, she’s in full remission, lives a symptom-free life, and teaches women how to find their sacred hormonal balance with her books, online programs, and education.
Thank you so much for being with us Magdalena.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Yes, anytime.
Rebekah Kelley: I love it. I love when you’re here and you educate me and you make me so smart. And I’m very excited for the experiential podcast today. So you’re going to show us about the importance of breast massage and how to do it, right?
Magdalena Wszelaki: Correct. Yeah, so a lot of us don’t realize that we have so much lymphatic movement going on in the upper part of our body, right? So, starting with, for a lot of people, tonsils. We all know tonsils. A lot of us had our tonsils removed, and that’s a bit of a bummer because it is one of the lymphatic nodes that also happens to store a lot of bacteria. But anyway, if you’ve been having tonsil issues, there’s a chance that you tend to be a little bit slow on the movement of your lymphatic system.
So, I think a few years ago, Rebounders became really popular, right? You want to kind of start rebounding. Even by me doing this on my chair right now [gently bouncing up and down], if you’re listening to me and you start rebounding on your chair like this, you are actually activating already your lymphatic system. Just the fact that you are going for a walk, that activates your lymphatic system.
But we can do something a lot more targeted and very specific for the breast because, guess what? There is so much lymphatic movement going through the breast. And not only the breast, but I think for many women who’ve experienced breast issues, it also goes into your armpit, this whole area here [indicating armpit area] can be very sensitive for a lot of women. Now I want to show this for two reasons. One is obviously the lymphatic movement, but the second reason is that I think we tend to touch our breasts only when we are looking for trouble [laughs]. It’s like, let me look for that lump, right? Or absence of. And we typically approach touching our breasts as something that is kind of fear-based, you know? And I want to reframe that.
So, it’s something that you can do in a shower, or after you’re taking a shower and you are about to get dressed and you want to put some nice oil on your breasts or cream on your breasts, where you’re actually supporting your sisters. I like calling them the sisters because we really are sisters, right? Like you are the big sister, here these are my small sisters, and supporting the sisters on a daily basis from a place of love and care, rather than from a place of fear of like, oh God forbid, I don’t want to find that lump. Okay. So, do you want us to get started with the massage?
Rebekah Kelley: Yes. Yes. Show me.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Okay. I’m going to move the camera just a tiny bit lower so you can actually see my boobs. So, first of all, you want to do this not over your clothes, but you want to do that when you’re completely naked. You can do it first thing in the morning once you get up, you can do it in the shower, you can do it with a cream or oil – we’ll talk about that in a second – or you can do it at night, just when you’re going to bed. Whatever makes you feel better. I like to do it in the morning because it’s just like I get this out of the way, I can start my day.
Now, the way we are going to be massaging this, the first thing you do is you want to lift up your arm. In case you’re listening to this in audio, I’m lifting up my left arm, putting it behind my head. If you have a problem with your shoulder, if there’s a lot of pain, just lift it as far as you can. Otherwise, put your hand behind your head. And the way we are going to be doing this is that think of where your clavicle is, like the space between your neck and your armpit, that’s your exit sign. So if you think about it, the lymphatic system is a little bit like a trash truck evacuating crap out of your body. Literally. There’s these highways and passages that the fluid is going through, and we are going to support that area by opening up those highways even more. And sometimes there’s a lot of stagnation a lot of women have, and that’s when it can manifest and form into a lot of swelling and engorgement.
So, the way we are going to be massaging our breasts is from our nipple, I’m touching right on top of my nipple, right here, 12 o’clock [indicating just above the nipple, where 12 o’clock would be on a clock], and you’re going to be slowly moving with your entire palm, you’re going to be moving that toward to exit sign. Then we move on to 1 o’clock, from the nipple, and again, we’re going towards the exit sign. We move on to 2 o’clock and again towards [the top]. And then, 3 o’clock, and so on and so forth.
Let me move to 6 o’clock. So again, from the nipple, you want to go down and then up over the breast [inward, toward the midline of the body] and over to the exit sign. And you want to do that on the other side of the breast [toward the outside].
Now, in terms of pressure, sometimes we think like, the harder, the better. It’s not. So imagine like if this was a honey… you know those honey sticks you buy, you can get those, right? So if you want to get that honey out of that stick, that’s the kind of pressure you want to be applying on it. Not too light, but not too hard either because then the lymphatic system is going to shut down and you’re creating more stress for your body than anything else.
And basically, you do exactly the same thing by lifting up your right arm and doing the same thing on your other breast. It’s really as simple as that.
Now, you can do this in a shower when you’re nicely lathered up, making sure that you use nice organic soap, you know, something like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, you don’t want to be putting a lot of chemicals on your breast. Guess what? Your breasts also have a lot of fat, for most women, and fat attracts toxins, and stores toxins. And so really this is the last place you want to be putting more toxins. So, all those soaps that have all the nice fragrances and stuff like that, throw them away. Use stuff that is really nice, clean and organic.
So, shower is one thing. I personally don’t like doing it in a shower. I don’t know why, it’s just not my preference. I like to do it after a shower, when I’m dry. And this is when you can either use oils or you can use a cream. Again, here we talk about a cream that is nice, organic, that doesn’t use things like fragrances, doesn’t have parabens in it, right? Something really nice, organic, that you can use on your breasts to perform the massage.
My preference is using oils and, as an herbalist, I can’t stop myself from telling you about a few herbs that have a special affinity for the breast. Some of them are extremely well researched and others have very little research behind them. So let me talk about the first one. It’s called poke phytolacca americana. Poke, and for those of you who are from the South, I’m sure you’ve had poke salads before. And so it’s not the leaf, it’s the root that’s harvested in fall. That root is then infused into an oil. If you are very adventurous, you can do it on your own. Otherwise, there’s a lot of people who are selling that – different herbal stores will sell that, but also some women on Etsy, in the small batches, sell poke-infused oil, as well. So, what’s so special about it? You know, in herbalism, wise women in herbalism have used poke root for centuries. It is one kind of root that has got so much affinity for the uterus and for the breast, so much so that if you have a horrendous period, if you’re having a lot of cramping, a lot of pain, then poke root just relaxes everything and then just takes the pain away. So, it’s anti-inflammatory, but it’s also a painkiller. And it also has this incredible ability to do the same thing for breasts. It’s part of our products that we developed in R and D [research and development], and when we were testing one ingredient at a time, just from poke root itself, our testers were saying that they have 50 to 60% of pain being gone literally within 20 minutes. So, poke root is just amazing.
The other herb that has an amazing affinity for breasts and especially for breasts that are engorged, that are very painful, there’s a lot of inflammation that’s going on – St. John’s wort is just fabulous. A lot of people know St. John’s wort as being the happy herb, the sunshine herb, the anti-depressant herb, that’s when you take it internally. You’re going to need to be very careful because it does interfere with SSRIs, which kind of tells you how potent herbs can be. Although [laughs] a lot of times we hear people saying, you know, an herb is anecdotal. [Laughs] If it’s anecdotal, then why shouldn’t it be used with some drugs? But anyway. So, St. John’s wort – I have actually never found an herb that topically has got so much of anti-inflammatory pain-relieving activity. It’s a beautiful herb. It’s a beautiful yellow flower that actually most of us have passed by. It’s a total weed, and it’s very special. I have a special affinity for St. John’s wort just because it makes you so happy. So, applying that, again, you can buy an oil that’s infused with St. John’s wort. When it’s done in summer, it becomes beautiful red. It’s like ruby red and that’s when you know it’s made from a fresh flower. It’s extremely potent. Those are the ones that I like. Not so great are the ones that are brown in color. So that’s another oil you can massage your breast with.
One more oil I’ll mention is gamma linolenic acid. So many of you know about evening primrose oil, that you can take when you have a really painful period, and it helps a lot. So GLA is in evening primrose oil, the secret active ingredient is gamma linolenic acid. You can use evening primrose oil as a capsule. You can also use borage oil, which is my favorite because it contains about three times more GLA compared to evening primrose. Either one is fine. You just buy that and open up the capsules, you would have the oil in a capsule. Open it up and, probably one capsule for each breast, and then massage your breast using the GLA oil. We have found research that both internally and externally, GLA has got, again, a really nice, soothing ability.
You know, those are just some really simple things that a person can do to not just massage the breast, but also then bring in these very healing herbs. And your skin penetrates things really quickly, right? One thing that you can also add, like for example, if you were working with poke root, just adding a couple of drops of castor oil and just mixing that on your hand and then massaging your breasts with it. It’s amazing because castor oil tends to bring in oil deeper into the tissue. That’s the deepest penetrating oil that we know of.
So those are just like really simple things that a person can do, and a lot of herbalists sell these oils. You can find them in herbal stores around your neighborhood. Always try to support local herbal stores. You can get them online from Etsy, herbalists can sell them as well.
Rebekah Kelley: Now, you mentioned that you did some R and D to find this out. Did you end up creating something also? Did you end up…
Magdalena Wszelaki: We did. Yeah. [Holds up a box with two products.] So, our brand of supplements and products is called Wellena, so it’s like “Magdalena Wellness” together. So, Wellena. My team came up with that.
Rebekah Kelley: I like it.
Magdalena Wszelaki: We have a product called Happy Sisters, and so there is a cream and there is a supplement. The supplement addresses the root cause of the problem. In a previous episode that we did together, we talked about estrogen dominance. And so the supplement addresses the underlying causes of what causes a lot of the breast issue. I would call it like a long-term solution – it helps deliver, helps metabolize estrogen, helps the lymphatic system. So, we got some amazing herbs in here. But since we are talking about a massage, here’s the cream [holds up a jar of cream]. So, one of the cool things, first of all, it’s got this beautiful, nice, slightly pinkish color, just like a nipple of a Caucasian woman, I guess. And one of the really cool things about when we were formulating it, is the fact that it feels like it’s a very cooling gel. So, for women with breasts that are very inflamed, that can be super helpful. It also has ginger infused into it, which warms up the tissue because, guess what, when breasts are warmer, everything circulates a lot better, including your lymphatic system. But it’s cooling at the same time.
However, it will get absorbed in literally less than 2 minutes. So, someone like me who likes to do it first thing in the morning, I don’t want to be walking around topless for 20 minutes to put on a bra, right? Like, I want it fast. So we spent a lot of time formulating it in a way that it will absorb really quickly. You can put on your bra and start your day right away. I don’t know if you can see this [holds up arm where she had rubbed cream], but it’s pretty much…
Rebekah Kelley: Yeah, it looks like it went right in. Yeah. And so that can be used for the massage that you showed us in the beginning. That can be the cream that… Okay.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Exactly. And, you know, sometimes I just don’t have the time, I don’t have the mind space for it. I’m like, I’m so done with the massage, I just want to get on with my day. Just putting it on to massage the breast is good enough.
Rebekah Kelley: Mm-hmm. And what are the ingredients in that? Are those the ingredients that you just went over? The St. John’s wort…
Magdalena Wszelaki: St. John’s wort is there. Yes, definitely. So, all the things that I mentioned including the St. John’s wort. We have poke root, it’s one of the biggest ones. We have castor oil in here. We have ginger extract to warm things up, and then essential oils like ylang ylang and bergamot peel. We have also black cumin seed oil, which in the Middle East is also called nigella sativa. Black cumin in the Middle East is one of the most popular oils, and they say it cures everything but death. [Both laugh] So we’ve got a smidge of that here, too. And we do have castor oil, like I mentioned. So, all the things, if you don’t want to be buying things separately, you just want everything in one place. We’ve been having just really quite incredible results with the cream, including women telling us that for years they could not touch a part of their breasts or they’ve been having, just nothing else was helping, and just with that cream, things started moving for them.
Rebekah Kelley: And someone can go to HormonesBalance.com to get that, where they can get more information about you?
Magdalena Wszelaki: Yeah, the more direct one would be our store. It’s Wellena, so it’s W E L L E N A.com. And the products are available there.
Rebekah Kelley: Awesome. So either, we can go, if someone’s interested, they can go and create their own, if they want to. And if they’d rather just get it all put together and all the research behind it, they can go to you. So thank you so much, Magdalena, those are really valuable insights. So, mention again the website where they can go for the cream.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Wellena.com, W E L L E N A.com.
Rebekah Kelley: Awesome. And also, additional information can be found at HormonesBalance.com, H O R M O N E S B A L A N C E. Let me remind you to subscribe and get access to all Humanized videos, podcasts and transcriptions from all of our thought leaders like Magdalena on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com. Thanks so much for being with us. It’s always a pleasure.
Magdalena Wszelaki: Same. Thank you so much for having me.