We have personally discovered from our experience in working with female clients that symptoms such as back pain, shoulder discomfort, incorrect posture (hunched shoulders for example) and burning pain around the heart region can simply be due to an incorrect bra fitting. When those clients took the necessary steps to find the correct size they discovered that many of those nagging symptoms disappeared.

One important thing to note is that we can help clients overcome symptoms such as back and shoulder joint pain but if they continue to wear the wrong size undergarments the pain will just get worse over time. It is also important to know that tight bras can hamper breast health as they can restrict the lymph flow in your breasts. The normal function of the lymph fluid is to wash out toxins and other waste materials from the breasts. But tight bras can impair the flow of these lymph fluids and cause toxins to build up in the breast. This can lead to cancer.

If you find yourself in this 'tight bra' dilemma we hope that you'll find this check list, written by the world famous undergarment provider 'Rigby and Pellar', helpful.

1. Band
The band of your bra provides most of the support. In fact, it does 80% of the heavy lifting! If you have fuller breasts, you should ideally pick a bra with a sturdy band. Make sure the band:

- lies flat against the body
- doesn't ride up or pinch
- fits perfectly when fastened on the loosest hook

Self test - raise your arms. Does your bra stay put? If so the band is snug enough. Does it ride up? Then try a smaller band size.

2. Underwire
Make sure the underwire:

- lays flat against your rib cage
- cups your entire breast
- doesn't poke into your underarms

Self test - press on the underwire, does it bounce back? If so the cups are probably too small.

3. Center Gore
The centre gore connects the two cups and should lie flat against your chest. If it doesn't or if the ends of the underwire point away from the body, try a different bra style that better suits your body frame or go up a cup size.

4. Cups
The fit of the cups determines the comfort and look of your bra. Make sure the cups:

- lie flat against your breasts
- do not pucker or pleat
- provide good support
- create a lovely rounded shape

5. Straps
The bra straps only provide 10% of the support. That's why tightening won't create more lift. All it does is make them dig into your shoulders, which isn't flattering at all. It's also painful and can cause you to slouch over time.

Self test - a good rule of thumb, you should be able to fit three fingers between the strap and your shoulder.

6. Comfort
How does your bra make you feel? Comfortable and confident? If so, you're in the right size. For the reasons outlined above it is important to invest in a quality bra, i.e one that provides a good fit and is in a fabric that feels good on your skin and looks good on your body.

Rigby and Peller, although based in the UK, offer virtual appointments and so ideal for those of you who don't travel regularly outside of Portugal. Do check out their website at www.rigbyandpeller.com/en-gb/appointment-booker. Alternatively, the manufacturer Triumph also offer tips for measuring your size, see them at www.uk.triumph.com
and the blog Self.com has lots of tips for size and fitting at www.self.com/story/tips-for-finding-the-right-bra-size-and-fit

We at Natural Joki Flow can't help you with your bra size but we can certainly help you to relieve aches and pains in your body. Please call us on 910 665 601 for a short consultation, or to book an appointment. www.naturaljokiflow.com