Being a person who loves to feel comfortable and move, I’ve found it challenging to find clothes that are both comfortable and fashionable. I’m always thinking about restriction in the body and how we create it from our lifestyle and past traumas, but what if it most of it comes from what we wear everyday without realizing the damage we’re doing? Could it be possible that your clothes could effect your circulation, connective tissue mobility and even bone structure?
My answer to both of these questions is yes and I’ll tell you why.
I love fashion but there is a definitely a price to pay for it, and sometimes that’s quality of life. I think it’s definitely possible to wear comfortable clothes and look fashionable but you have to have a sense of awareness around it. You should really be able to do a squat, butt to floor, in any pants you wear. If you can’t you may want to rethink it. In addition to this, the ability to inhale fully without restriction through the diaphragm, rib cage and abdominal cavity is really important.
I’ve had numerous women clients ask me for help with their core stabilization and strength. Most, if not all, would have back pain that came with the lack of core strength. I would immediately assess them by doing the 4 point tummy vacuum test, a breathing and core activation exercise. More times than not, they would not be able to expand the abdominal area and the rib cage and diaphragm area. All the places that really are essential for opening up so you can take a full breath and activate the deep abdominal and back stabilizers. I’d later discovered that their bra strap would be too tight, restricting their breathing and not letting them inhale fully.
Wearing a tight bra is the equivalent to a person hyperventilating all day long. A person can never really get enough oxygen to the brain or breath deeply enough to engage the core. So a woman who wears this lives in a constant state of anxiety and stress because her bra is too tight. Later comes the back, neck and shoulder pain. Corsets women would wear during the Victorian era come to mind. Maybe that’s where that famous underwear store for women got it’s name.
Tight bras have also been linked to poor melatonin production at night, stopping or slowing down lymphatic flow, detoxification, and a possible link to breast cancer.
In a study done by Japanese researchers, “They discovered that wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of melatonin by 60 percent. The hormone melatonin is intimately involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles, and numerous studies have shown that melatonin has anti-cancer activities.
My observation is that tight bras can decrease your quality of movement and life. Here are 5 things I recommend you do to lift restriction and feel healthier.
1# Your breasts need to move!
Your breasts need to bounce. This will of course vary in degrees depending on your size but it is really healthy for them to move up and down since they work to pump toxins into the lymph nodes. If they can’t bounce how else is this gonna happen?
In addition to being a pump for the lymph nodes the bouncing actually works what’s called the Cooper’s ligament, connective tissue in the breast that help it maintain structural integrity. So in addition to keeping your breasts healthy you’re getting a natural lift too!
2# Go all natural
When it comes to your breasts, what you put under your arms matters. Don’t put chemicals under your arms. This goes straight into the lymph system. This becomes too much work for it and chemicals can then accumulate in the breast tissue.
Choose natural products that will last all day and contain essential oils instead of chemical perfumes. My favorite deodorant is made in my home town Portland Oregon, Dr. Schmidt’s Deodorant. In addition to this you can always DIY at home. Wellness Mama has some amazing DIY recipes on her site for natural deodorants.
3# Wear a comfortable bra
We’ve got options. Bliss Bandits has some amazingly comfortable bras that you can wear during movement or throughout the day. If you have a larger chest you may want to check out Coobie Bras. I always search for what are called bralettes. They’re usually not too tight and are wireless. If you’re small to medium sized this can be a great option. Comfort for me is key. Since I’m moving all day long, I prefer to wear a bra that doesn’t squeeze my back muscles so much that they don’t function well or at all.
#4 Move your body everyday
In addition to wearing comfortable clothing I recommend you get some kind of movement in everyday. It could be anything from walking to lifting weights. Moving your body in different movement patterns is really important for circulation and mobility.
Working movement into your lifestyle is going to give you the biggest benefit. For example, sitting on the floor instead of sitting on comfortable furniture. This forces your body to activate postural muscles, because you’re more likely to change your sitting position on the floor. This will naturally give you more varied movement throughout the day.
According to Katy Bowman in, “Move Your DNA”,
“The frequent consumption of varied movement is what drives essential physiological processes.”
What this means is that you have to move in a variety of ways on a daily basis to keep your body circulated and for all of your systems (digestive, lymphatic, hormonal, circulatory, etc.) running efficiently. If you can’t do anything else, I recommend walking and doing as much of it as you can. Walking to the store, the park, etc.
When you spend more time on the floor you’re more likely to want to do more. It gives you motivation to move. Stretching is a great way to move on the floor. Below are two connective tissue stretches that will open up the bra strap area and help to create more lymphatic flow. Hold them actively for 30-60 seconds.
Hydrating the connective tissue, is super important for lifting restriction in your movement as well as circulation. Your connective tissue needs nutrients. Add a pinch of sea salt or citrus to filtered water or drink mineral water. You can also get hydration from fresh fruit juices, bone broth, milk, coconut water or kombucha.