My guest is Maria Monti, founder of The Healthy Bra Company. The wrong bra can harm your health in many ways and the the right bra can improve it. My interest in the subject is that incorrect bras can block the natural flow of lymph in your body, preventing the flow of toxic chemicals through and out of the body, and contributing to the buildup of chemicals levels that contribute to illness. The right bra can actually help your body detox. Maria is a professional Postural Therapist with 18 years experience in analyzing posture and designing corrective exercise programs to relieve the stress and strain of the daily postural duress on the body. With her experience in assessing posture and re-aligning the human structure, becoming a custom bra fitting specialist was a natural next step. Maria founded The Healthy Bra Company, in 2002. With now ten plus years experience (and over one thousand hours) in custom bra fitting, she offers a “highly personalized fitting opportunity” which incorporates a revolutionary way of matching your BODY TYPE, UNIQUE ANATOMY and presenting STRUCTURAL ALIGNMENT with the bra styles(s) most suited to give you the best structural support, look, proper sizing and fit. www.thehealthybracompany.com
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
How Healthy Bra Affects Your Health
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Maria Monti
Date of Broadcast: May 15, 2013
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world even though there are toxic chemicals all around us in consumer products and then in the environment. Every place you look it seems, there are actually many things that are not toxic in this world and that’s what we’re going to be talking about.
We talk about how to remove toxic chemicals from your home, from your body so that you can be happy, healthy, productive, can think clearly, be spiritually aware, have plenty of energy in your body and all of those good things.
Today is Wednesday, May 15, 2013. I’m here in Clearwater, Florida. Today, I had already scheduled my guest, Maria Monti from The Healthy Bra Company when I saw the news that Angelina Jolie has surgically removed both her breasts in order to prevent cancer. We’re going to talk about that as well as what we were going to talk about originally.
But instead of me giving my commentary on it, I’m going to introduce Maria right away so that Maria and I can both comment on that before we talk about what we decided we were going to talk about.
Maria is the Founder of The Healthy Bra Company. The wrong bra can harm your health in many ways and the right bra can improve it. My interest in the subject is that incorrect bras can block the natural flow of lymph in your body, preventing the flow of toxic chemicals through and out of your body and contributing to the buildup of chemicals levels that contribute to illness. And the right bra can actually help your body detox.
Maria is a professional postural therapist with 18 years experience in analyzing posture and designing corrective exercise programs to reduce stress and strain of daily postural duress on the body. And with her experience in assessing posture and re-aligning the human structure, it was natural for her to go into custom bra fitting.
So she founded The Healthy Bra Company in 2002. Now, with all those experiences, she offers a highly personalized fitting opportunity, which incorporates matching your body type, unique anatomy and structural alignment with the bra styles and materials most suited to give you the best support, look, proper sizing and fit.
Welcome to Toxic Free Talk Radio, Maria. I’m so glad you’re here today [inaudible 00:03:38].
MARIA MONTI: Yeah, it was very much so. I wanted to mention that your summary was very well spoken. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for being able to share my path and the information today with your listeners.
DEBRA: Thank you very much. Let’s get right to Angelina. I’m going to go ahead and let you comment first. I have things I want to say, but you go ahead and comment first.
MARIA MONTI: Yeah, I gave this a lot of thought last night because she is a women beyond all else. What I want to say is that I respect her choice because it is her choice. And secondly, I would like to say that I am not qualified despite the fact that I’m a woman and I have breasts.
I am not qualified to make a judgment about this because it is her body and I don’t live in her body.
But I get calls all the time about women who want to take off their breasts as a result or reduction surgery and we have this conversation weekly. In the sense of her consciousness and the choice she made, I respect it because it is her choice.
DEBRA: Well, what I would like to say is that I think there are other options. I also want to make sure that my listeners understand what has happened here and what she’s saying because it certainly is being presented in shorthand way and certainly it’s a sensational thing to see this beautiful movie star make a decision like this.
And if you really read the articles and find out what the message is, she’s not saying that every woman should remove their breasts if they might get breast cancer.
She happens to test positive for a very specific gene called BRCA gene. Only a very specific group of women have that gene. If you look at the medical recommendation, if you have this gene, they are saying remove your breasts because it’s genetic and that none of the standard things that you might do to resist your cancer risk would affect this gene.
So if you remove your breast for this reason, then it improves your risk of getting cancer by 90%. With that information, I can certainly understand why she would make that choice.
In the articles, they say, “Angelina Jolie is removing her two breasts that don’t have cancer. Why would she do that?” Well, why she would do that is because her doctor told her that to do that is the recommended treatment, which reduces her risk of cancer by 90%. If somebody were to tell you to do something that would reduce your risk of cancer by 90%, you might just do it.
So I wanted to make it clear that women should not just run out and cut their breasts off so that they won’t get cancer. There are many things that contribute to cancer, including toxic chemical exposure, including poor nutrition. There are very specific toxic chemicals that cause cancer and breast cancer and you can certainly remove those from your home.
But I also respect her decision and I’m sure that she considered it. I mean, that’s not the kind of thing that you just do overnight. I’m sure that she considered what was best for her family and for her life and did the right thing.
MARIA MONTI: Can I make one more comment there?
DEBRA: Sure. Go ahead.
MARIA MONTI: I also wanted to refer women as they’re pondering this subject to the pioneers that came before us, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring and Sandra Steingraber who wrote books about these very issues about cancer as well as environmental toxins. These are back in the 50s. So this is not obviously a new subject. And your passion is all about that too.
So there is a lot of material out there that can give solace at a time when perhaps fear is in the [inaudible 00:08:21].
DEBRA: Yes. Yes. I can say that I have a very dear friend personally who has been recovering from breast cancer by using natural means.
But she’s not out of the woods yet, but her recovery has been great. Again, it’s a different kind of situation that she doesn’t have that gene.
What’s being recommended is that women do get tested if they fall into this particular ethnic group. You can find out more about that. I actually put some links on my Facebook page at Debra Lynn Dadd, Queen of Green that has all kinds of information to determine if you’re somebody who should even be concerned about those. But all of us should be doing things to reduce our cancer risk. And you should find out if this gene is a concern for you. And if so, what is the recommended thing to do about it.
I also want to mention, as I said on my Facebook page, that just because somebody has a genetic propensity to something, that doesn’t mean that that’s the end of the story. There’s something now called epigenetics where people are finding that they can reverse genetic damage or change your genes. If toxic chemicals can damage your genes, then doing the right thing can make your genes come back or improve them.
That’s not widely known even in the medical community, but there’s a lot of research on it. So there really is a lot that can be done and we shouldn’t be afraid that women by the…
This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd and we’re having a few, little technical difficulties here. I’m not sure what’s going on, maybe a sunspot. We’re continuing on the phone because there was a technical difficulty with Skype and we’re working on fixing it.
What don’t you go ahead and tell us why did you choose to go into health field for your profession?
MARIA MONTI: I’ve always been a very highly sensitive person, particularly very much so in my body and my physiology. I grew up on my grandma’s organic farm in Michigan and I was very heavily influenced by her philosophies of nature and natural laws.
And then we moved to Canada where I was living right downstream from DOW Chemical and a lot of the Detroit automakers.
So I had diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome, Epstein-Barr and of course multiple chemical sensitivities. So all of that led me basically into the health field because I knew I was going to need to help myself as well as I wanted to help others.
So I studied health and wellness, personal training for fitness and then later postural therapy. That kept me into the health field.
DEBRA: Wow! That’s very interesting because I didn’t know that about you. I think there are a lot of people who are doing the kind of work that you and I do have that beginning. So what made you choose the field of custom fitted bras as the avenue of health to pursue?
MARIA MONTI: I’ll do a segue way. It took 25 years for me to be my own health advocate, exercising self responsibility and basically trailblazing resources to “get clean” so to speak from a detox standpoint. That led me down different roads.
And since I studied postural therapy, I saw that there were complications to women’s bras and bra-wearing as it related to the symptoms that they presented when they came for their appointments.
So I filed that away and thought that’s something important, but not necessarily timely. But at the time, my heavy patient load started to really get much more fatiguing and it got the best of me. I started to experience non-cancerous and large lymph nodes and I had to retire from postural therapy. And like the people you were interviewing yesterday, you were with Jennifer Parker, I had to find a toxic-free haven to continue my self-healing.
I hear the music. Would you like for me to continue?
DEBRA: Let’s wait until after the break. I’m hoping we’ll be back on Skype, but we will be continuing after the break. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. I’m here today with Maria Monti from The Healthy Bra Company. We’re talking about bras and breasts and how you can be healthy.
Maria, tell us about the body’s lymph system because I know that the type of bra that you wear can either help the lymph system flow or block the lymph system. And you need to have a functioning lymph system to get toxic chemicals out of your body. So explain it to us.
MARIA MONTI: Let me just do a little segue way because it’s really critical. During my healing hiatus, I found these bras and basically simultaneously and serendipitously, I also found another lump in my left armpit. As a part of working with these bras and the manual lymph drainage procedure that we teach with them, the lump actually disappeared after 12 weeks. So this was my connection to the power of the lymphatic system.
Now, we could spend hours talking about it because it’s a system that is critical, but not well-known. It is part of the body’s immune system. I have read recently that the extreme importance of it is that without it functioning and if it’s shut down, autointoxication, which is the internal poisoning of our own body by our own accumulated toxins would cause death within 12 to 48 hours.
So these kinds of things, we want to make sure that the lymphatic system is working against the body’s detox mechanism. And it is very fragile. It is easy to damage and it is very easy to also cut off, especially with tight clothing. So think about anytime you put a rubber band around your finger and it turns purple and it starts to swell, this is what tight clothing can do (for example, bras) if not fitted correctly and properly for a person’s body type, their posture, the weight of their breasts, many aspects that I look at as a postural therapist.
Education is so critical in tying these two things together, bras and lymph health.
DEBRA: Good! So do you want to explain a little bit about the lymph system itself? I know we’ve started late, so it does need to be brief because I want to make sure that we talk about some of the other things too.
MARIA MONTI: Sure. The lymph system is made of vessels and nodes. We often hear about the lymph nodes. Think of those as filtration systems. The lymph vesselsare like a spider network.
So if you were to think about filling up a glass jar with marbles, the space in between the marbles is like the lymph fluid and the lymph vessels. When that is not working properly, not only do your cells not get bathed with nutrition, but the cells do not get to be detoxified.
So this is what we really need to know about the lymph system and why it can’t be overlooked in any situation especially with the load that’s on it these days with so many toxins that are coming in by air, by food, by water, by everything that we are exposed to. And probably the person with even the most perfect health would have a challenge in dealing with all of these lymph issues. So the bra is obviously a woman’s issue.
DEBRA: Yes. Also, when chemicals come into the body, don’t they go into that fluid in between the cells?
MARIA MONTI: Yes.
DEBRA: So it’s like the cells are sitting in this toxic fluid. If it doesn’t move, if the lymph doesn’t move and take the toxic chemicals away, then it’s just like marinating your cells on toxic chemicals.
MARIA MONTI: Exactly. It’s like toxic soup.
DEBRA: Yeah, it’s just like toxic soup. And this is why it’s so important to have the lymph nodes moved. And I’ll just interject here that the lymph is not like the heart where the heart has a pump that moves the blood around in the body. The lymph sits there unless you exercise.
And even if you exercise, if your bra is not fitted properly, it’s like putting a rubber band around your body so that the lymph can’t move.
That’s why we’re here today discussing this.
MARIA MONTI: There are other things besides exercise too that can stimulate it. I’ll talk about those too.
DEBRA: Okay, good. What makes it challenging for women to find the correct or right bra today?
MARIA MONTI: I think four things are really critical. We have cookie-cutter designed manufacturing for mass production. We have advertising coming across radio, TV and magazines saying what look is acceptable and fashionable by society. We have tremendous synthetic fabric cotton and synthetically chemically treated fabric. And then we have the way that bras are fit. We have improper fit and wear and the lack of knowledgeable fitting technicians who can understand the links between the proper fit of a person’s body type, their posture and not impairing the lymph system.
So it’s a multi-faceted, complex situation. That’s why I spend probably two hours with every new person I work with to help them bridge the gap of education and also help quell their frustrations about why they can’t find anything out there that works.
DEBRA: Yes, it is a challenge. Now, don’t tell anybody else. I’ll just tell you. I haven’t worn a bran in years. And fortunately, it’s not a big deal for me because I think I don’t need one and you might think otherwise because it’s supporting. But it was because I couldn’t get past all those things that you just said. I didn’t want to wear synthetic materials. They were uncomfortable. It didn’t seem like it was doing anything anyway. I couldn’t find the solution, so I just gave up on the whole field.
So I’m really glad that you’re there, understanding and giving women other options. Now just briefly, let’s talk about the synthetic materials for a minute. I know I get this question over and over again about, “Why can’t I find an organic bra? Why is it that every organic cotton bra I look at has synthetic materials in it?”
MARIA MONTI: Yeah. It should not be that one cannot find that. What I have discovered in searching out fabric content as well is that there is organic cotton material out there, but depending on what other criteria one has, let’s say they want support (which is often the reason to wear a bra), the more cotton you use, the more something stretchy you have to use also in order to not make it feel like a tablecloth on your body.
So you’ve got to have a combination of good fabrics, but also a design and the fabrics that support the design. We have that difficulty too. I’m not going to say that we don’t have synthetic or some synthetically treated fibers, but we have found a way to work with them and work around them to the best health of the woman and particularly relating back to the lymph system. So I’m very, very cognizant of that.
And you might think I’m a pro-bra person, but I’m not. As a postural therapist, I know some women just have to wear bras because of the heavy weight of their breast or their posture. And we look at postures…
DEBRA: I have to cut you off, I’m sorry, because we have to go to commercial. But we’ll be back.
MARIA MONTI: Okay.
DEBRA: This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd with Maria Monti.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. I’m here with Maria Monti from The Healthy Bra Company and the website is TheHealthyBraCompany.com I think, isn’t it, Maria?
MARIA MONTI: Yes.
DEBRA: Good! So tell us what you offer. What are your products and services that you can offer to women to have them have the correct bra?
MARIA MONTI: Okay. With the health of the breast in mind, I always look at the individual uniqueness.
So the first thing we do is a proper assessment of that uniqueness. That’s really, really critical because you have to have that in order to get the right bra for that unique person. We look at if their circulation has already been cut off by what they’re wearing with the weight of their breast.
The proper bra design is then selected and oftentimes, custom alterations are made in order to perhaps increase the support or make the bra fit so that there are no bindings anywhere or stresses that would again cut off the lymph system, which we also don’t want to do.
We also teach them a manual lymph drainage technique when they’re putting the bra on so that they’re stimulating lymph flow. And then I will give them resources, additional resources to understand how their lymph really needs to be addressed every day.
For example, when I was going through my issues, I needed additional help with the toxic load. And so I started going to a company in Bellingham, Washington called Internal Harmony that had far infrared saunas. Now, the interesting thing about this is that a regular sauna will produce 97% sweat and 3% toxins, whereas the far infrared sauna is 80% sweat and 20% toxins.
So teaching women that the bra is one aspect of this, but also looking at all the other things that they can do throughout the day in making healthier choices helps them look at prevention, detoxification and the maintenance. And then also always checking in on how their body changes because obviously a bra fit at one time that might be great for the circumstances of that situation (they gain weight or they lose weight, it doesn’t fit properly anymore), we need to address those issues again. So that’s it in a nutshell.
DEBRA: How do you work with women who don’t live where you are in Washington? Can people work with you at a distance?
MARIA MONTI: Yes. I’ve been doing that actually for five years. We call it a virtual fitting and it’s not exactly technically virtual as one would call it on the Internet, it is a way where I create the same kind of assessment process and then I mail them the bras that I choose for them with any other alteration pieces that might need to be fitted in with the bra. And then I’m on the phone with them for generally about an hour for the fitting, teaching them how to put the bras on, what to look for for getting the proper support for their body type.
For many women, it works very, very successfully. Obviously, we screen for any kind of difficulties. Surgeries are difficult to do long distance and other anomalies. But we’ve been very, very successful with about 80% of the long distance fitting.
DEBRA: You mentioned about stimulating lymph flow. How do you that?
MARIA MONTI: If anybody has ever had a massage (which I would imagine most people have), stimulating lymph flow is a directional massage in the direction of the lymph pathways and it’s very, very gentle. I’ve heard of it called the lover’s kiss because it is such a gentle stroke. It’s like you’re moving water right under the skin.
So we teach this as part of the overall lymph drainage in order to make sure that women are being cognizant of their body and being in touch with their body quite literally every day. If you’ve ever heard of skin brushing, it’s a similar technique where you’re doing circulation by tactile stimulation.
DEBRA: Yeah, I’ve done skin brushing. I actually myself get massages every week (and in fact, two massages every week). I know that sounds like a luxury, but it’s not. Most people I think go and get a massage when they’re injured or their body isn’t feeling good. I’ve been getting massages twice a week for I think a couple of years now. And as I do it, I just get healthier and healthier because it releases tension in your body on a deeper and deeper level. I’m getting that lymph stimulation as well. So I highly recommend that.
MARIA MONTI: Also, lymph drainage massage is a very different kind of massage than what you’re speaking of. Highly trained technicians who specializes in lymph drainage massage are the ones that you would look out for to do this kind of thing because standard massage, although it can assist, you have your peripheral or superficial, very close to the skin lymph and then you have your deep lymph and both of them have to be addressed in different ways.
DEBRA: Yes, I agree with you. If anybody wants to get the right kind of massage for your lymph, you need to specifically get the lymph massage. I get some lymph massage, specific lymph massage as well as standard kind of massage as my body needs it.
I know that our time is cut short. But we do still have some time that we can talk. Is there anything that you’d like to cover that you haven’t had time to mention?
MARIA MONTI: I think yes, I would because as we see, this is a growing concern for women. And as a result, The Healthy Bra Company is growing after 10 years of doing this. We need help. So I think what I’d like to do is make a national call out right now for the kind of health that we’re looking for and have women recognize that there are jobs available for this kind of thing.
DEBRA: Go ahead!
MARIA MONTI: We’re looking for seamstresses who want to work in the field of custom alterations for these types of bras. We’re looking for women who would like to be trained in professional fitting as it relates to lymphatic health.
And another callout that’s of major importance is for any trailblazing textile manufacturers who are out there and interested in working with more natural fibers and notions. We want to hear from them.
And I think the last thing of importance that I’d like to speak out to the community is this call out to charities too who are working with the future infrastructure that will help support people on their journey of detoxification. I was so impressed yesterday with the Jennifer Parker Foundation, but I know that when I walked this path, I felt alone. I didn’t have the resources that I do now and I didn’t have people to talk to.
So I support charitable foundations who are working toward what we would call a toxic epidemic and bra is just a part of it. I’m a postural therapist first, I am a woman first, so I work in that avenue, but it gives me the tools by which to address the lymphatic system that really hasn’t had enough attention to it.
DEBRA: I agree, it hasn’t had enough attention. I like that you’re using the terminology “toxic epidemic” because it is an epidemic. When I look at the numbers of all the different ways that toxic chemicals can affect our health and the sheer number of people who are being affected and not knowing it, if it is really recognized as it should be, it would be more than an epidemic. The numbers of people affected would be more than what we could call an epidemic.
It’s something that is there that needs to be addressed in many, many, many ways. So I really appreciate when an individual like you has taken up your own specific area of interest and say, “How can I make this area nontoxic? How can I figure out what is the solution? How is this contributing to the problem and what to do about it?”
I was just talking to Jennifer Parker Foundation yesterday. I was just seeing that, oh, my God, what we really need are safe places for not just a handful of people or thousands of people, but really everybody on earth should be able to go to a safe place and not be exposed to toxic chemicals and wear the right clothes and eat the right foods and really just handle their exposures to toxic chemicals.
I think we’re moving in that direction. Each of these things that we’re doing, each time I do a radio show (since I’ve been doing this radio show in particular), I’ve been seeing so many ways that we need to be getting the word about so many things and that it all fits together into one big picture.
Thank you so much Maria for being with me. I’m sorry we had technical difficulties and we didn’t get all the time that I thought we would have. But I want everybody to know…
MARIA MONTI: Well, it happens. I’ll tell you what, I’m a compassionate humanitarian and I have to share the stage with Angelina Jolie, I don’t have any problem with that.
DEBRA: Oh, good. Okay. Her making her statement brings attention to the problem and opens the way for people to have discussions like we had today. And it opens the way for people to be thinking about “What is causing cancer? What can we do about it? What am I willing to give up in order to not be sick?” which is a whole other question that I think needs to be dealt with.
MARIA MONTI: Exactly! Well, I’ll be happy to come back again if you want me to and we can discuss more.
DEBRA: I think that we have a lot more to discuss and I will have you back again. Again, that’s TheHealthyBraCompany.com.
So, that’s about all the time that we have today. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You can find out more at ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com. There are more resources there. And I’ll be back tomorrow.