WHAT A coincidence! I was quite amused and pleasantly surprised to read an article in the July 30 issue of Inquirer?s Lifestyle Section about breast massage written by Cheche V. Moral, because only a week before that I texted several close female friends about a scientific finding of a medical doctor on the benefits of breast massage to prevent breast cancer or tumors.

Although I found the article of Ms Moral quite entertaining and informative, it did not go far enough to discuss the scientifically validated health benefits behind the treatment. It limited itself to describing breast massage as promoted by a well-known brand of a beauty product. According to the article, when used with that product, the 45-minute breast massage treatment ?tones and strengthens the skin in the area from the cleavage to the chin area.?

She opened her article with the titillating statement: ?I got a breast massage from a total stranger. Okay, it was not as lurid as it sounds.?

She is right! It is certainly not as lurid or embarrassing as it may first appear to be. It may come as a surprise to many that, in fact, breast massage actually has proven medical benefits and is not a new concept or technique at all, although it is certainly new for most Filipinos.

The benefits of breast massage is not limited to merely firming and toning the skin of the female breast as indicated in the said article. Most importantly, it can even prevent breast cancer and growth of tumors.

Must-read for women

In her highly educational and interesting best-selling book called ?Breakthrough, Eight Steps to Wellness,? well-known author, Suzanne Somers, interviewed Dr. Khalid Mahmud, an American doctor of Pakistani origin, who wrote the book ?Keeping A-Breast: Ways to Stop Breast Cancer,? a must-read for all women, according to Somers.

One of the many ways Dr. Mahmud recommends to fight cancer is breast massage. Although he is careful not to overemphasize this aspect for fear of being misunderstood, he cites scientific basis for it:

?If people would have their breast stimulated or massaged regularly, especially when they are young,? according to him, ?there is actually scientific evidence that it increases the secretion of oxytocin, which not only helps remove pent-up secretions from the breast ducts, but also fights breast cancer in several ways. And besides, it reduces stress.?

Anticipating the possible reaction of women to this radical and unorthodox medical treatment for breast cancer, Dr. Mahmud was quick to point out that this should not be an occasion or excuse for taking advantage of women. And he didn?t want it to come across as his main message.

However, he is convinced that breast massage is an important cancer therapy that oncologists (i.e. cancer specialists) don?t know anything about.

Explained Dr. Mahmud: ?Stagnant fluid in the breast contributes to breast cancer. Nipple stimulation gets things moving. Oncologists don?t know this. This is from my own investigation. The fluid in the breast duct becomes stagnant. The contents break down and release free radicals. Breast ductal fluid has a lot of free radicals and the job of these radicals is to cause DNA damage to the cells.?

Suzanne Somers told Dr. Mahmud during the interview: ?In my household, you are a big hero. I told my husband he has to do this (ie. massage her breast), to keep me healthy and he is more than happy to oblige? He said he?ll do anything to keep me healthy.?

It is not easy to talk about this unorthodox treatment to Filipino women in a straight face. When for example, I mentioned this to a few close friends, they merely laughed and thought I was joking. Well, there?s only one way to find out.

Note: The next Inner Mind Development Seminar will be held Sept. 25-26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 810-7245, 815-9890; e-mail jaimetlicauco@yahoo.com.