Dangers of Underwire Bras
There are certain areas of concern that are the prerogative of women, the business of women. Many of these involve matters that are unique to the female body.
Human beings are more alike than they are different from one another. Still, gender is a real separator. Especially in the area of health care, women's needs and issues are often different from men's.
The bra is an important support device for the female breast. The larger a woman is, it seems the more important her bra is to her. Whereas a small-breasted woman can sometimes easily go without the support of a bra, a woman with larger breasts may never be able to do so without discomfort and sometimes pain.
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Construction & Design
Throughout the years, many bra designs have come and gone. Some models have gone the way of last years less fashionable styles, while others have lost favor due to the attractiveness of newer models.
In general, women like bras that are good looking and offer strong support - giving wear-comfort and eliminating an important kind of fatigue. The UnderWire Bra has gained an immense amount of popularity with women for just these reasons. In fact, it's very difficult today to find a bra that doesn't have an UnderWire in it.
So What's Wrong With Underwire Bras?
Simply put, the UnderWires that make these bras so supportive and comfortable are the very things that create a real and insidious problem for women. All UnderWires are made of a plastic coated metal. It is this metal that causes problems.
How Can That Be?
In his article: Chinese Lessons For Modern Chiropractors, Dr. George Goodheart - the father of Applied Kinesiology - spoke of his discovery called the "Antenna Effect." He found that it is possible to tape a small metal ball onto an AcuPoint (acupuncture point), and accomplish longer-term stimulation to that point. Those little BB's are now called AcuAids and are used by thousands of doctors daily. This was an important discovery.
Like those tiny BB's, ANY metal that is constantly on a given point on the human body MAY cause problems. One critical factor is WHERE the point is, and WHAT that point ties to in terms of the human psychophysiology.
This is the problem: The UnderWires in the UnderWire Bra fall 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.
How Does That Work?
These reflexes, like all AcuPoints, follow the Law of Stimulation. In the beginning of stimulating a point, it is stimulated - often causing an increase in associated function. Later on, this continued stimulation causes sedation of that point and a subsequent decrease in its associated function. It's a mechanical thing. If a woman keeps the metal UnderWires on top of those reflex points, over time that WILL mess up the functioning of the associated circuits: Liver, Gall Bladder, and Stomach. Bottom Line: It will likely make her sick, slowly and quietly.
What To Do?
Obviously, these UnderWires must be removed from the body. Here, there are some choices to be made.
* One can simply go shopping for new bras without UnderWires. That can be less than fun for a woman who has looked for years, only to find the just-so-comfortable model of bra which has become her favorite.
* Some UnderWire Bras will work fine for some women without the UnderWires in place. If that is the case for you, simply take a razor blade, put a very small slice in the fabric at the end of the UnderWire, slip the UnderWire out, and stitch it up. This fixes the problem for all time.
* Another possibility is to replace the UnderWires with plastic of the same diameter and length. This used to be easy to do. One could simply go to the corner knitting store and purchase plastic knitting needles for replacement. Today, there are not only a lot less of the corner knitting stores, but also it is now VERY difficult to find knitting needles made of plastic. If one is fortunate to find the requisite plastic needles, the job is rather simple. Take the appropriate number of plastic needles and place them on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the tray of needles into the oven. Continue turning up the temperature slowly until the plastic reaches that point where it is just beginning to be bendable. Take them one at a time to the waiting sink full of cold water. Bend and hold them to the proper curve and put them into the cool water to set the new shape. Lastly, cut them to length, sandpaper the ends smooth, insert them into the waiting slots in the UnderWire Bras, and stitch closed. Magically, you're done. And most importantly, you are not making yourself sick any more.
There used to be a manufacturer of plastic underwires. They no longer do so. If you locate someone who does, please email us.
Choices, Choices, Choices
Life really comes down to the choices we make, and then living with the results. There are precious few things we can do for ourselves that can make a meaningful difference to our health and well-being. As with ANY changes needed in our established lifestyle, this one requires a little work. But, it is REALLY worth doing.
I have heard about the problems underwires cause and went looking for documentation, so I found your site. You mentioned that you're looking for a good supportive bra without underwires. Have you heard about Jeunique? Their bras (formerly Figurette and Colesce) are excellent quality with NO underwires, which is why I sell them. If you lived in Virginia I would be happy to show you in person, but there may be a distributor in your area.
The website is www.jeunique.com and the bras are pictured under "body fashions." They're a pretty extraordinary design based on a suspension bridge, great for nursing, exercising, everyday and any season of a woman's life! :-) Interested folks can call the company to find the nearest distributor in their area.
Editor's Note: Before you can order a bra online, you are meant to get fitted properly by a representaive. Contact the company for the nearest one to you. This may be a good business for a woman looking for an extra income.
Playtex and Sears used to sell the WOW line—without wire, which was made with plastic. I believe Playtex 4788 is discontinued, but may be found on eBay, etc. for a while. http://www.bramakerssupply.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=167&cat=Plastic+Wires
Note from an email I received: I had a chiropractor whose own *non-lactating* wife had been self-serve purchasing a 38C underwire bra. He had to keep clearing her lymph in the axilla area. I measured her on one of my visits and she measured a 42B—not her college size from a different era. She got a soft-cup sports bra and he never had to clear her again while she wore it. However, her breasts are spaced wide apart and designers for the various companies do not take that into consideration. (Asian women are wide spaced also.) If intent on wearing an underwire for style or the familiar feel, a front-hook underwire is best for these shaped women as the wires will be spaced farther out to the sides due to the front hookage fabric.
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© John D. Andre, D.C., N.D.