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#1 of 100 Old 01-09-2011, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This thread started the discussion:

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1285352/fibrocystic-breasts

 

At least two of us are in the process of going bra-free and thought we'd start a new thread.

 

I have lumpy, dense breasts and found a pea-sized lump in one breast near the nipple and a larger lump in the outer lower quadrant of the other breast in my late 30s. "They" (allopathic doctors) took me seriously and I had a mammogram and breast ultrasound right away. Within a half-hour of the tests, I was told I have lumpy, dense breasts and that's just the way they are. Nothing to be concerned about.

 

At some point, not sure if it was before or after the lumps, my breasts starting hurting a lot. I started reading and talking to people and ended up taking evening primrose oil in capsules, which provided quite a bit of relief. I did some other things, too, for other health issues and have been consistently working on improving my overall health since my mid-twenties. Later, I started seeing an Ayurveda practitioner and she had me drinking tulsi tea for my breasts and menstrual cycle issues. This also helped a great deal. A little over a year ago (Sep 2009, I believe), I asked her about a bruise and deep ache in one of my breasts. We deduced it was due to my underwire bras. She strongly encouraged me to switch to wire-free bras. (She may have suggested bra-free, but I wasn't ready to hear that then so I don't recall it. However, she doesn't wear a bra.) This really, really helped my breasts a LOT!!!

 

Then, along came the above linked thread. I posted my story and then read a link to the brafree.org site mentioned about a quarter of the way down the first page. I read many sections of it and followed several links to other sites. I also have been talking to many female friends and healers of various types. Turns out, there is some secret cult that I never knew about. lol.gif None of these women wear bras and already knew they were bad for you. I was raised by my father and taught to be rather conservative in my dress. A bra was always required (once I had breasts). I have gone mostly bra-free since that day of reading the bra-free site. WOW! This has taken my breasts to a whole new level of health and comfort!!!!!

 

So now, the challenge is finding appropriate undergarments instead of bras and dealing with the emotional and social issues.

 

Anyone else want to chime in???


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#2 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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subbing, and I'll be back!

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#3 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Subbing for support.

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#4 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Subbing! I'm trying to go bra-free at least most of the time. My breasts leak milk a lot, so I can't always be without. I am already underwire free, though.

Can you take EPO while breastfeeding?

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#5 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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bra free here for about 4 yrs nw..I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have actualy put one on! I usualy wear 2 shirts, or in the summer months a sports bra type tee  shirt that provides support if I need to go somewhere


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#6 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Okay...I got three camis today so I'm bra free.  LOL.  I have been underwire free for 9 years, but this is a whole 'nother level.

 

I plan on wearing tanks with a loose shelf out of the house for now, and a plain cami in the house.  I didn't have any luck in lingerie, but found some excellent candidates in active wear.  I'm a medium, but went large on two so there wasn't any compression.

 

Thanks for the support from everyone!  I was really concerned that with my 34F's I'd be really uncomfortable.  I'm not comfy yet (I started this because of breast pain) but I can feel a real difference.  Thank heaven for MDC!  If you had ever in my life told me I'd be going braless I'd have laughed my head off.  Weird how things change!

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#7 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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I have been bra-free always!  I think I have that "sensory disorder" --  I can't stand to have tight clothes or sleep with sheets.  And I've never been able to tolerate bras.  I am small-chested so that is not a problem, but after nursing for years my nipples are huge and obvious.  So now I wear the little adhesive patches (breast petals).  My nipples still show through sometimes and I am self-conscious about it.  The only reason I like winter is that I am comfortable wearing camis and tanks under my clothes!  Too hot to do that here in the summer so if anyone has any ideas to prevent nipples showing I'd love to hear it!

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#8 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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When I was working out of the home on a daily basis, the first thing I'd do when I got home was take off my shoes and my bra.  My breasts were always sore after being cooped up all day!  

 

Now that I'm nursing my baby (6 mos) I hardly ever wear a bra.  I have a few nursing tanks which offer light support, and I wear these out in public.  Much of the time at home I am bra free.  I have DD breasts and feel like I'm debunking the myth that large breasts need support.

 

By the way, I was sent home from school when I was 11 (I developed early) for not wearing a bra.  I hated wearing bras as a young girl.  I never was into the "my first training bra!" stage.


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#9 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Bra free mama here!

 

I wear tanks and camis under as well. In the summer, I just don't care or I'll wear a bikini top under and then I can strip down if I get too hot (very hot summers here).

 

I'm nursing my 5mo ds, and just wear a t-shirt at home, but if I have to go to work without him, then I will strap on a bra because of leaking---they are underwire which is no bueno but since it's maybe once every couple of weeks, I don't worry too much about it. The last thing I want to do is buy more bras!

 

I have to say, I was unexpectedly at a work situation for several hours with just a cami and very thin long sleeve shirt, and I felt like everyone was looking at me (probably just my own paranoia), and I was pretty uncomfortable . . . blush.gif not really sure how to dress professionally without a bra, maybe nursing tank and layers? What do you all think?


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#10 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, Panserbjorne, I am going to answer a question you had in the other thread here because I just saw it. You asked about my size, which I did answer there (34B-C-D-DD-DDD-DD-D is my history and then 36C in wire-free). You also asked about the transition, which I just saw. When I switched from under-wire bras to wire-free bras (I believe it was Sep 2009...definitely in the later half of 2009), I had a deep ugly bruise from my bras and my breasts ACHED for quite awhile and not just where the bruise was. I think that is when the ligaments and such started their work.

 

Going from wire-free bras to nothing was surprisingly easy in a physical sense, except for the skin and nipple irritation of certain fabrics. However, I was only bra-free from mid-week of one week to Monday of the next (under ordinary life conditions, including going out in public but I kept my jacket on!) when I came down with a high fever and cough and body aches that kept me literally in bed for an entire week and laying low for another week. I am just getting back to normal life now. Last Wednesday is when I got my various bra-alternatives (LOL) and I have been out in public and at friends' houses, etc. several times since then. Tonight will be my first semi-professional event.

 

At this point, I am physically comfortable with my bra alternatives (2 bralettes, 2 yoga tops with shelf, 1 camisole with shelf, 4 plain camisoles, and my 3 back-up wire-free bras -- most are from lingerie depts, nothing has any compression whatsoever). I have enough variety that I can address my personal various physical issues. My main physical concern is allowing natural movement of my breasts to encourage proper lymphatic flow/drainage. My secondary physical concern is figuring out and maintaining/encouraging proper breast temperature. (Breast cancer has a history in my family and heat seems to be related to it developing from lumpy, dense breasts.)

 

My personal challenges are the emotional and social issues. Socially, nipples are a big deal in America. I was raised by my father and rather conservatively in regards to clothing. Covering one's nipples was ALWAYS required and not just camouflaging the areola, but also the "headlight" issue. In choosing my bra-alternatives, I was quite conscious of my nipple coverage and I believe I succeeded in addressing my personal concerns. Time will tell. Another social issue for me WAS the natural movement of breasts. The collective "we" seem to want our breasts to always be perky and stay relatively close to our bodies. I got over that one very quickly because my biggest health issue is my lymphatic system and our breasts need to move naturally in order to facilitate proper flow/drainage for that area of the lymphatic system. My health comes before society's "desires".

 

Emotionally, I like my breasts and especially the shape of them in a bra. I identify a lot of my feminine appeal with my breasts. Having them swing freely is hardly the sexy image I associate with being an attractive female. Three of my bra alternatives have gathers between the breasts just to make me happier with their appearance under clothing. I am strongly opposed to the "uni-boob" look on me with certain undergarments, so I discarded anything that produced it! lol.gif 


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#11 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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a friend posted this which I thought was interesting:

 

The French study the sagging and bra wearing even further

Another study with similar results was conducted in 2003 by Laetitia Pierrot and Jean-Denis Rouillon. In it, 250 women who practiced sports stopped wearing a bra for one year. They were followed regularly with questionnaires and biometric measurements. At the 6-week checkup, the ladies experienced some discomfort from abandoning the bra, but this disappeared later, and by the end of the year 88% of the women reported improved comfort compared to before the study.

The measurements showed firmer, more elevated and perkier breasts. For example, the distance from the nipple to the shoulder bone was reduced, which means the breasts sagged less. They noted a better muscular development in the rotator muscles of the shoulders and the pectoralis major. Also, stretch marks on breasts became less visible.

(Pierrot L., Evolution du sein après l'arrêt du port du soutien gorge, étude préliminaire longitudinale sur 33 sportives volontaires, Thèse présentée le 19 décembre 2003 devant la Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Besançon.
[The development of the breasts after discontinuing wearing bras. Preliminary longitudinal study of 33 volunteer sportswomen. Thesis presented December 19th, 2003, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Besancon, France.]

 

from this page:  http://www.007b.com/bra_sagging.php

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#12 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post


 

Emotionally, I like my breasts and especially the shape of them in a bra. I identify a lot of my feminine appeal with my breasts. Having them swing freely is hardly the sexy image I associate with being an attractive female. Three of my bra alternatives have gathers between the breasts just to make me happier with their appearance under clothing. I am strongly opposed to the "uni-boob" look on me with certain undergarments, so I discarded anything that produced it! lol.gif 



I hear ya!  I like my breasts plastered to my body.  I do NOT like movement at all.  I'm going to have to get over that.

 

And I don't know why...but I like the uniboob-probably because it means that I feel that I can move more.  This is gonna be interesting.  I have a LOT of mental blocks to get over.  Worth it if the pain stops.

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#13 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post

 

 

I have DD breasts and feel like I'm debunking the myth that large breasts need support.

 

 


and for that I thank you!

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#14 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for that! smile.gif (The study)

 

After my journey, I totally believe it! My breasts have definitely gotten perkier since I switched to wire-free bras and they seem to be shaping up even more now that I am bra-free. To be fair, though, my breasts have always been perkier than my peers. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding and a few weight gains and losses took their toll. I was at the point a couple years ago when they were looking rather droopy, so the improvement is far more noticeable than it might have been for me otherwise.

 

ETA: Seriously, I think the emotional issues could be the hardest for me in this process. Every woman has different ideas on how her breasts 'should' look and going bra-free is likely to shake those up for most of us. The best we can do is learn to love ourselves regardless of how we look and while we're working on that, support one another along the way.


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#15 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Subbing! I'm trying to go bra-free at least most of the time. My breasts leak milk a lot, so I can't always be without. I am already underwire free, though.

Can you take EPO while breastfeeding?


I am trying to remember the timing of when I was taking EPO and if I was still breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I do not recall. Sorry!

 

There might be other things you can do or take to help. What are the issues you are concerned about and maybe some of us can help?


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#16 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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That site is interesting. I know I"ve got low progesterone and it's making me want to start supplementing.

I'm mostly (99% right now I'd estimate) bra free and have been for years. I do wear a non underwire, non-restricting bra occasionally (more in the summer in certain situations for nipple coverage) and other than that I do camis out and about and nothing at home. I'm not large busted so nipples is the main issue for me. I've never felt comfortable in a bra and wore them as little as I could all my life. I never thought it had any health benefits though. I do have fibrocystic breasts.

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#17 of 100 Old 01-10-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Subbing! I'm trying to go bra-free at least most of the time. My breasts leak milk a lot, so I can't always be without. I am already underwire free, though.

Can you take EPO while breastfeeding?


I am trying to remember the timing of when I was taking EPO and if I was still breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I do not recall. Sorry!

 

There might be other things you can do or take to help. What are the issues you are concerned about and maybe some of us can help?


I have a history of fibroycystic breasts and saw you took it for relief in the other thread. smile.gif I'll check out kellymom.

I must say, the increased perkiness is a definite motivator! Mine have always been really perky but after baby #5...well, not so much anymore! It'd be nice to get back even a little! I actually hate breast compression at all. Sports bras and the like drive me nuts. I do like shelf/demi bras that push them up but do not push in, though. My only real inhibitor about being bra-free is my priest next door neighbor. lol.gif I feel weird being bra-free around him. Last summer I was almost entirely bra-free and I would be out gardening, pregnant, with big bra-free boobs and he'd come over to talk to me about my plants and I would fee l so awkward. innocent.gif I'm only a 34/36 B/C (fitting bras is a nightmare!) so I'm not THAT big, but when you're talking to a priest residual Catholic guilt kicks in!

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#18 of 100 Old 01-11-2011, 05:03 AM
 
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I am not that big (A cup) so my big concern is nipple coverage as I am breast feeding and who knows if they will return to normal.  For now I wear a fitted cami and breastpads as I leak alot.  They are big enough that they don't appear as circles through the clothing.  In the summer I don't know what I will do.  I have the issue that I look almost flat without a bra and people think I look really young like a teen mom.  When I wear bras they are usually push up so I actually look like I have something.  I guess I need to get over it but I just feel that way.  I feel sexy with a bra and feel like I am lounging without one.  I am at home most of the time anyway so it is easy to go without one.

 

Wow this is alot of personal info here and somehow turned into a confession session.  LOL!!  Only on MDC...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandkindness View Post

I have been bra-free always!  I think I have that "sensory disorder" --  I can't stand to have tight clothes or sleep with sheets.  And I've never been able to tolerate bras.  I am small-chested so that is not a problem, but after nursing for years my nipples are huge and obvious.  So now I wear the little adhesive patches (breast petals).  My nipples still show through sometimes and I am self-conscious about it.  The only reason I like winter is that I am comfortable wearing camis and tanks under my clothes!  Too hot to do that here in the summer so if anyone has any ideas to prevent nipples showing I'd love to hear it!


What did you feel with the tight clothing? Because I can't wear a bra or tight clothes because it makes my back spasm? I thought I had a compressed nerve. Did someone tell you that it's a sensory disorder? Because I never explored that angle. I've used the breast petals. I've been bra free for 9 years and am small (smaller than I was before kids!). I usually wear a very loose tank top under shirts with patterns to camoflauge. I only wear the nipple petals when I have to wear something less concealing which isn't often as I don't think I've worn them for 3-4 years. When I was nursing I used the Majamas camis because they had a pocket for the breastpad, and they weren't tight when ordered a size larger.
 

 Quote:

Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post

I am not that big (A cup) so my big concern is nipple coverage as I am breast feeding and who knows if they will return to normal.  For now I wear a fitted cami and breastpads as I leak alot.  They are big enough that they don't appear as circles through the clothing.  In the summer I don't know what I will do.  I have the issue that I look almost flat without a bra and people think I look really young like a teen mom.  When I wear bras they are usually push up so I actually look like I have something.  I guess I need to get over it but I just feel that way.  I feel sexy with a bra and feel like I am lounging without one.  I am at home most of the time anyway so it is easy to go without one.

 

Wow this is alot of personal info here and somehow turned into a confession session.  LOL!!  Only on MDC...

 

I don't look like a teen mom with all my wrinkles. And I did look mostly flat. I bought padded dresses when going out. And had shirts with patterns or pockets at the breast level (on both sides) to camoflauge.

 


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#20 of 100 Old 01-11-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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my breast is definitely feeling better today.  I went to work bra free and flat out asked people if they could tell (people in my office with whom I am close I mean....not a general solicitation!)  No one could.  My mother came in for treatment today as well and I asked her as she was heading into the office next to mine.  She was actually delighted and suprised but said it looked just fine.

 

Feeling good about things so far!  Hopefully the breast will just continue to hurt less and less....I can certainly tell a difference in the flow of things when I'm going down stairs.  It's an odd feeling, but clearly in a good way.  That was suprising and made me feel hopeful.

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#21 of 100 Old 01-11-2011, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome Panserbjorne! Funny you mention the stairs....that is actually when I notice I'm not wearing a bra the most nowadays. lol.gif It is definitely an odd sensation, I agree. From my reading and discussions with certain healers, it is VERY good for our breasts to move naturally...keeps the lymphatic system functioning properly (among other things). thumb.gif

 

I am becoming more and more comfortable going bra-free everywhere. Last night, I attended my first service unit meeting (Girl Scouts) and I knew I would know a LOT of the women there. Yep, and met half a dozen more. I dressed rather quickly and only briefly thought about undergarments/top. I didn't even think twice this morning before heading to my qigong class. Last week, I planned my outfit in my head the night before (lol). WOO HOO! Progress!


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#22 of 100 Old 01-12-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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and definitely continuing to get better!  My breast feels quite a bit different today.  I'm still in pain, but it's far less.  I can actually apply some pressure to it without wincing.  I've not taken another remedy past the first day so this is legitimately from being without constriction.  I'm feeling quite good about this!

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#23 of 100 Old 01-12-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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Subbing.  :)  I've been 80% bra-free for awhile now, but face many similar issues to a bunch of you here.  Nice to have some like-minded ladies to chat with.  :)  No time now but will post more later...


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#24 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I attended a breath workshop yesterday afternoon. I purposely went bra-free...nothing between my breasts and my shirt...but, I wore a shirt that had two layers across the chest. It was rather warm here yesterday, so I was a little on the warm side for most of the workshop. However, the benefits were soooooo worth it! It was a transformational breath workshop and I needed to clear my lungs from mild asthma (illness-induced and I had just been sick from mid-Dec to now...lingering symptoms last two+ weeks). I've been able to breathe deep into my belly for years. I've not been able to breathe FULLY into my chest, ever, that I recall, but probably since childhood. (My asthma didn't show up until my 20s.) During the breath session, I could feel my breath struggling in my chest/lungs and I coughed up all kinds of gunk. Fascinating results. Bottom line is it feels like my chest grew all the way around by about five inches; at least the space for me to breathe. I have been breathing MUCH easier since. I used to do breath sessions a couple years ago and I could never get into my chest well. I'm sure some growth on my part was needed, but I also feel bras kept me restricted in an unhelpful way.

 

In other physical news, my breasts are perkier than ever now! DH & I are both amazed since we were both inundated with the marketing that tells us "bras keep you from sagging". Hmph! My C/D breasts are doing better than ever withOUT a bra!!!

 

On the emotional front, I am becoming much more comfortable and less self-conscious about not wearing a bra. I'm still struggling with a few things here and there, but I forget all about it more than half the time when I am out now. At home, I forgot all about it within a few days...the only reminder being when I walk up and down the stairs. lol.gif

 

How is everyone else doing?


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#25 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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awesome!

 

I can't thank you ladies enough.  No more breast pain at ALL.  And I was self conscious, but no one can tell.  The only thing I can say is that things fall differently...I have a couple of empire waist dresses that don't look as good.  lol.gif

 

Anyway....I am breathing easier as well, and I never had breathing problems.  However the difference is astonishing.  It's kind of like going off sugar...you never really noticed an issue, but without it it's a world of difference.

 

I love how this feels.  I look forward to going down the stairs-is that weird?  It's like I can feel things clearing.  I just love it.

 

Can't say that they look perkier...but it's not been that long for me.    Maybe I'll have a different perspective in a few weeks.  Either way, that's not my goal and I'm just thrilled at how comfortable I am!

 

My mother is even considering joining me.  Now THAT will be something.

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#26 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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YAY! Breast pain is no fun, so finding a way to get rid of it is always nice. Especially when you find all these other benefits!!!

 

Perkier breasts were a huge unexpected bonus to this experiment! love.gif  I read about it on the brafree.org site and the study PB copied, but it had zero impact on my reasons for going bra-free. I didn't even fully believe it. LOL I do now, though!!!

 

PB, I hear ya on the differences in how certain clothing fits. Give your breasts some time to adjust to being bra-free. Some clothing has improved in fit for me. Some still not. I figure when it is important to me, I can always wear one of my wire-free bras. Otherwise, though, I am loving being bra-free for the way my breasts feel INSIDE.

 

And, the newfound breathing impact. I rode with DH to the airport in the dark this morning (he had a flight, so I had to drive home....still in the dark) and who knew how much real breathing could help me wake up and feel ALIVE so early!!!! I'm not an early morning person and it was not cold (55 degrees) and I only drank some water... so I feel pretty confident it was the breathing... smile.gif

 

ETA: PB, You may be interested to hear I took cell salts before and after the workshop for support. thumb.gif


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#27 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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no doubt.  breath is extremely powerful and it makes all the sense in the world that you'd have physiological benefits that would extend to emotional benefits from doing so.  It's amazing how much more deeply I breathe!  How much more my ribcage is expanding already!

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#28 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just posted 3 or 4 links on my facebook page showing the benefits of going bra-free.....  lol.gif


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#29 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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PB, I was thinking my ribcage expanded less on a physiological level and more on a spiritual level, but I think I'm going measure sometime.... I'm curious.


"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#30 of 100 Old 01-16-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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Was underwire-free for years.  Now I'm bra free and love it.  Been this way since the milk-leaking stopped after nursing DS.  Typically I use a tank top, or occasionally use a cami.  They are so comfortable.  I can't stand wearing a bra anymore.  Now the occasional times I want to wear something other than a tank or cami, I put one one of those hybrid things that's kind of like a very short-cut tank top.  Even those I have a limited tolerance of and take it off as soon as I can.  It's just so nice not feeling like I have to yank or adjust a bra every minute of the day.


Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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