I offer The Spurgeon Method TM of Breast Massage.
It was developed by double breast cancer survivor Sally Spurgeon, LMT. She learned from personal experience what massage techniques helped her recover, reduce pain, normalize scar tissue, and increase flexibility and function in her torso and neck following multiple surgeries, breast cancer treatments, and various soft tissue complications that arose from her process of healing.
She developed these techniques to help healthy women increase self awareness and do self massage for healthy breast circulation, to help women who are going through breast cancer treatments, to help women recovering from breast cancer treatments including mastectomies and reconstructions. It’s also very helpful for women with common breast discomforts, elective breast surgery scar tissue and soft tissue complications, pregnancy and postpartum breast changes.
This method is currently offered at the prestigious Chopra Center in California.
This compassionate, effective, medical massage is for all women!
Common breast concerns that this massage can help balance:
- swollen breasts from congestion, edema, lymphedema
- painful breasts
- discomforts from pregnancy, breast feeding, weaning
- premenstrual breast congestion/tension
- tenderness and congestion due to benign conditions
- post surgery and diganostic surgical procedures
- breast trauma or restrictive, adhered, and poorly oriented scars
- tension from submuscular implant placement
- discomfort related to cancer treatments
- integration of past surgical changes
- education in self exam/self massage
- your goal with becoming comfortable with your breasts
- assistance in breast monitoring
Is this legal?
Breast Massage is within the scope of practice of massage therapy in Indiana State Law with the requirement of three things: informed consent, draping that’s appropriate for the client’s comfort, and specific professional training in breast massage. I meet all these requirements. I’ve had 24 nationally certified hours of clinical training in the Spurgeon Method TM of Breast Massage.
What happens during a Spurgeon Method TM session?
I will work specific muscles, fascia, and lymph drainage related to the breast and chest, shoulders, neck, upper belly and upper back. The amount of time actually spent on the breast is only 10 minutes, the nipples/areola are never touched, and it may be performed either with or without a drape, based on your personal preference that we discuss beforehand. I use a handcrafted breast massage oil for the session.
Please note: this is not a technique that will happen without your consent. Breast Massage is not automatically included in a session.
It is a stand alone modality that we plan for, ahead of time.
If you are interested, here’s the steps to take:
1) You request or wish to find out more info about breast massage
2) We talk about breast massage, how it benefits you, what happens in a breast massage session, and your draping options
3) Review, fill out, and sign a Breast Massage Informed Consent form
4) We can do the session. At any time you may change your mind.
Contact me and we can go over your specific situation and how this can help. I will happily answer any questions you have.
Benefits for Healthy Breasts:
- helps to maintain shape of breast and prevent sagging. (It helps to strengthen the pectoral muscles of the chest. It builds resiliency in the ligaments that support the breasts lifting and maintaining healthy shape.)
- stimulates circulation in blood and lymph to help breast tissue stay healthy
- reduces scar tissue, adhesions, limited range of motion, and edema from previous breast injuries or elective surgeries
- a good healing technique for aching breasts (Natural hormonal changes during ovulation and menstruation can cause the breasts to become sore, tender, and swollen with discomfort. Breast massage is a natural way to decrease pain, swelling, and tension in the ligaments of the breast. It is also useful in aches related to breast feeding, as well as several weeks after breast alteration or reconstruction surgeries.)
- is a reliable means of flushing debris from the lymphatic system (According to the Texas Institute of Functional Medicine, breast massage is a viable way to release toxins from the body’s lymph system. Toxins can become trapped within the fat cells of breast tissue, increasing chances of cancer and restricting blood flow into the breast. Massaging the breasts gives the lymphatic system a boost and facilitates in the draining of breast tissue.)
- doing breast massage regularly with a well trained massage therapist can become part of monitoring your own tissues, for prevention and breast health.
Benefits for Women who have/had Breast Cancer:
Before surgery breast massage can:
- activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our relaxation response
- decrease adrenaline, lower blood pressure, slow respiration, relax the diaphragm and reduce cortisol
- allow the release of emotions and feelings such as fear, anger, guilt, loneliness, and helplessness
- decrease muscle contractions, lower blood sugar, and increase digestive enzymes and peristalsis
- touch is a respite from physical pain and discomfort, emotionally as well as spiritually
After surgery breast massage can:
- support lymphatic circulation to help lingering problems with edema
- reduce pain in soft tissues surrounding surgical area, as well as areas the patient was restrained on the surgical table
- reduce and normalize scar tissue and fascial constrictions from surgical incisions, lumpectomy, mastectomy, lymph node removal, breast reconstruction
- increase range of motion in arm and neck
- can help support tissues, whether one surgery, or multiple
- can begin 2 weeks after surgery, when tissue is closed over and your doctor releases you for breast massage.
- If you received expanders, several sessions are helpful during the expansion process, and should be scheduled a few days prior to each fill. If you did not receive expanders, the usual therapy is 6 sessions and then re-evaluation to determine if more sessions are needed.
It’s worth noting that in progressive parts of the country, therapeutic breast massage is a normal follow up care for mastectomy survivors and women who’ve had reconstructive or elective breast alteration surgery.
I feel so certain this work is needed for women that in 2018 I petitioned the Louisiana State Board of Massage Therapy to make specific legal allowance for the inclusion of Therapeutic Breast Massage into the scope of practice of Massage Therapists. My effort was met with support from the Board members, who then sent on their recommendations to amend the law to their Rules and Regulations Committee. I look forward to tracking the progress of the legal end there.
All photos and images and text copyright 2019 Megan Assaf.
Do not reproduce without permission.