In the book The Healthy Home, Dr. Myron Wentz helps us understand the health risks of wearing tight clothing:
If you’re like most people, you put a lot more thought into how you dress in the morning than you do about getting undressed at night. But have you stopped to look at your body after slipping off those socks, wriggling out of those pants, or unsnapping that bra at the end of the day? Those angry red lines on your skin after you’ve removed a snug piece of clothing should be viewed as a serious red flag.
Constrictive fabrics act as a tourniquet, hindering critical lymphatic circulation. Lymphatic flow is a delicate process that carries nutrients, removes waste, and fights germs throughout the body. Yet as important as the lymphatic system is to your health, it does not have a powerful pump -like your heart- to keep it flowing. Instead, slight muscle contraction and even your breathing help circulate lymphatic fluid.
So Loosen the Lingerie
TRUE OR FALSE? Women who come from cultures in which bra wearing is the norm are more likely to get breast cancer than women who don’t.
Many factors come into play, including diet, levels of stress, body weight, lifestyle, and childbearing practices, but the fact is that women of other cultures are more than just “liberated.” The lymph flow pumps up along the rib cage and across the breast area. Wearing a snug, ill-fitting bra is like wearing a blood pressure cuff that’s been pumped up tight and may e cutting off a delicately maintained circulation that is vital to the immune system.
This isn’t a call for mass bra burning, but be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re wearing something too tight. Many bra-fitting experts advise women to move to a smaller bra circumference for better life and support. Before you plunk down half a paycheck on the latest lacy contraption, check to see if the bra leaves red marks on your skin or if you can’t comfortably fit a finger or two between your bra band and your back.
If it feels too tight, it is-no matter what your fitting expert says. Go up a size or two and feel good about what you’re doing for your lymphatic system and long-term health.
Simple Solution: Reduce stress on your lymphatic system for at least a few extra hours a day by removing your bra when you’re in the privacy of your home.
Men’s bodies need adequate circulation, too. And you can be slaves to your egos when it comes to clothing. How many of you have been known to refuse to budge on your pant size, despite having gained a few pounds? Men also have watches, belts, shirt collars, and ties to contend with. Go down another layer. Are your socks tight enough to leave impressions after you take them off? What about your underwear?
Many of us put on a pound or two every yea, and too often we try to continue wearing clothes that are the sane size as what we wore in high school. A report from Cornell University found that 67% of men were buying and wearing shirts with a neck size smaller than the actual circumference of their necks. Those same men then tied their ties too tight, attempting to match the collar size of the shirt.
It’s not just our lymphatic systems that we’re choking. Dr. Susan Watkins, leader of the Cornell study, suggests that the tightness around the neck constricts the arteries and decreases the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and the sensory organs of the head – the nose, ears and eyes. Subjects in the study were asked to tell researchers when a light, flickering at increased speeds, appeared to become constant. The men with tight collars reported the poorest visual discrimination.
The pressure on the jugular veins in the neck can also lead to increased fluid pressure inside the eye. Though loosening the tie and collar allows the pressure within the eye to return to normal within minutes, tight neckwear can certainly introduce intraocular pressure, which is the most important risk factor leading to glaucoma and other eye disorders.