Is your bra making you sick?


Under-wire Bras: Is your bra making you sick?

There have been numerous studies conducted over the years calling attention to under-wire bras and whether there is a health risk involved in wearing them. I have noticed in the last decade or so that the underwire bra has resurfaced in popularity. The underwire tends to give the breast a more rounded look and helps provide lift and support. Most mainstream outlets offer both underwire and non-underwire options such as Victoria’s Secret and Soma, to name a few. Both retail stores offer a personalized assistance to measure and properly ‘fit’ their patrons. I have found that these stores often times will carry the correct size in store or online, but if they do not, they will offer their customers to basically go up or down in the width or in the cup in order to get close to the needed size. This may not be the best option, as a properly fitting bra is also essential to the wearer for health reasons.

As far back as 1999, John D. Andre, D.C., N.D., wrote an article titled, Dangers of Underwire Bras. Andre refers to theories that originate in Traditional Chinese Medicine including Kinesiology and Acupuncture points (also known as AcuPoints) which follow the “Law of Stimulation”. The theories include stimulation or pressure on certain areas of the body that when doing so, will have a direct impact on certain organs.

Andre goes on to say that the issue with Underwire bras is that they act as “antennas” as well as the exact location of these metal wires rest “directly onto two very important NeuroLymphatic Reflexes. The one under the right breast goes to the Liver and Gall Bladder. The one under the left breast goes to the Stomach” (1999). The theory is that wearing underwires overtime could cause serious damage to the functioning of these primary organs”.

In 2003 an article in the Daily stated that there are a few items of major concerns that come with wearing a bra that doesn’t fit correctly. A few of those include, “constricted breathing, back pain and restricted circulation to muscle strain and irritable bowel syndrome” as well as the possibility of “breast cancer”. The article goes on to mention that a study conducted in 2000 found that out of 4,700 women surveyed, the risk of breast cancer was higher in women who reported wearing bras for more than 12 hours per day (I am now stripping my bra off as I write this!!)

“The study concluded that the constricting effect of bras suppressed the lymphatic system below the armpits, blocking an internal network of vessels supposed to flush toxic wastes from the body. Over time, these toxins accumulate in the breast tissues and create an environment in which cells can turn cancerous” (Daily Mail, 2003).

In 2009 Dr. Mercola added to the research already in place by stating that bras can block important drainage of toxins by the lymphatic system.

One can conclude that if we are going to wear a bra, it is essential to limit the amount of time we wear the bra, ensure that the bra fits properly, and preferably without the underwire. Here are a few tips to consider for your Bosom health:

  • Remove the underwire completely. This can be easily done by cutting a small slit near one of the ends and basically pulling the underwire out. The opening can then be stitched closed. I did this with one of my Soma bras. The end result was that the bra didn’t look as ’rounded’ over the breasts, but rather more of a ‘rectangular’ look.
  • Replace the underwire with a 100% plastic underwire. These can be purchased at most material stores, or you can purchase these online at The Bra Makers Supply.
  • Research if your bra fits properly. One site to consider is Bra School.
  • Consider a “Healthy Bra“. The Healthy Bra Company provides custom fit bras which ‘properly direct breast tissue’ and include:
    • Superior Support
    • No Underwires
    • More band Sizes
    • More cup Sizes
    • Smaller Sizes
    • Larger Sizesand finally …
  • FREE THE GIRLS! Consider going bra-less, especially at night while sleeping. Women’s Health Magazine published some Do’s and Don’t’s of going bra-less. There is more information out there on the health benefits of not wearing a bra at Not to mention … doing so may have a nice impact on your love life!!

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