Ways to Nurture Breasts
It is difficult for most women to not carry a mental picture in their head and a corresponding feeling in their heart that female breasts are not necessarily a “safe” body part. Women worry about “the scare of breast cancer” probably more than most other illnesses because they generally know someone or many who have had it; grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters or friends; and possibly some who died from it. Some worry that their breasts do not stand up to social norms; “Oh gosh I’m flat chested” or “Oh gosh they are too big and I need a breast reduction”.
The above could not be farther from the truth of what female breasts actually represent: they are a sacred part of a woman’s sexuality and their ability to nourish their young.
~ Truly Amazing ~
Let’s learn a little bit about practicing good breast care on both the physical and emotional level. Nourishing the breasts physically helps us work toward preventing disease, while learning how not to fear our breasts strengthens our own personal sense of self-esteem and pride. Side Effect: both reduce stress damage in the body.
- Learn how you breasts look. At least once per month, examine both breasts in a mirror and memorize what “normal” looks like for you. Check front and side-to-side. You’ll be able to spot physical changes more easily.
- Learn how your breasts feel. Practicing this once per month makes it easier to recognize subtle breast tissues changes and the appearance of a lump. If you don’t know how your breasts feel, you could easily miss a subtle yet significant change that may need attention.
- Emotions affect breast tissue. Stress and “holding onto things” can create congestion and block energy in the body. Minimizing negative emotional patterns and stress levels improve breast and body health. Moving through life in harmony with your true nature eases body stress and creates more peace of mind.
- Wear comfortable loose-fitting bras without wire supports. Wire supported bras tend to drastically slow down lymph drainage in the breast and chest area and are connected to the development of breast cancer. Never wear a bra to bed!
- Exercise the lymphatic system. Ayurveda calls the lymphatic system the “river of life.” The lymphatic system is a one-way system of vessels and nodes that run throughout the entire body from the feet to the heart, hands to the heart, and head to the heart. Immune function relies on the flow of the lymphatic system. More importantly, the lymphatic system does not “pump” like your cardiovascular system does; it relies solely on body movement to move things along. Daily breast self-massage keeps lymph flowing by gently moving it in the direction it wants to go – towards the heart.
- Breastfeeding is good for baby and you. Breast cancer risks can be reduced by 4% for every 12 months of breastfeeding due to lower levels of estrogen during lactation.
- Breast cancer in men is rare. But it does happen (about one percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S.). Men have much less breast tissue compared to women and are not routinely screened for breast cancer. Breast cancer screening is only recommended for men at higher risk due to an inherited gene mutation or a strong family history of breast cancer – even if the breast cancer history is only females. For these men screening may increase the chances that breast cancer is found early, when the chances for survival are highest. That being said, it is important for men to check their breasts for lumps on a monthly basis.
Breast Lymph Massage Technique
There are many different techniques and handouts available on breast massage. Do a little research and find the technique that works best for you. With that in mind, remember this, any form of movement to the breast aids in moving the lymph fluid from the breasts. Here is the technique North Star Wisdom describes.
- Pick your breasts up and move them, bounce them, use a circular movement from the inside of the breast toward the axilla (armpit). Remember, the important part is to just get some movement going in the area of our body that many of us seldom touch. (Shared from North Star Wisdom Eden Prairie, MN)
- How often and how long should you do a breast massage?
Two to three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes goes a long way for breast health protection.
- Why for 5 to 10 minutes?
Stimulating the breast tissue for 5 to 10 minutes activates the pituitary to produce oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone which signals milk to be let down when we are breast feeding. When we are not breast-feeding it covers up estrogen hormonal receptor sites protecting us from estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is the primary cause of breast cancer and fibrocystic breasts.
- Lymphatic Massage
There are many massage therapists that are certified in lymphatic massage. Search the web to locate one near you.
Healthy Lifestyles For
Protection Against Breast Cancer
Healthy breasts (and bodies) need to be free of chemical hazards since they are increasingly being identified as having a significant impact on our health. Being “chemical free” has now become an important “cancer prevention strategy”. The question is, how do you avoid them when there are so many? A great way to start is to clean up your life to where your food, water, clothes, furnishings, and other products you come into regular contact with are as close to natural and unprocessed as possible. Sound overwhelming? Start with the products that touch your skin! Anything you put on your skin, enters your body. If the product is full of chemicals, you’ll be full of those chemicals.
This means you need to seek out organically-produced items—be it a piece of food, clothing, bed linens, laundry detergent, or shampoo. All of it counts, as it’s the accumulated exposure from all these varied sources that end up wreaking havoc. In the case of household cleansers and personal care items, you can inexpensively replace most or all of them with just a few simple, non-toxic ingredients. As an example, coconut oil, has countless uses around the house. Ditto for baking soda and vinegar.
Please visit this link for extensive lists on the good and bad effects of the things around us. (Dr. Mercola’s Decrease Breast Cancer)
- Be physically active (get regular exercise).
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (Breast Cancer Survivors who are overweight or obese should limit high-calorie foods and beverages and increase physical activity to help with weight loss.)
- Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose 100 percent whole grain foods (such as 100 percent whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, millet and quinoa).
- Choose meats that are free-range and chemical free. Alternatives would be fish, beans, eggs.
- Eat “good” fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats). These are found in foods such as olive and canola oil, nuts and natural nut butters, avocado and olives.
- Limit alcohol intake to less than one drink a day for women and fewer than two drinks a day for men.
- Natural Balms & Salves – Woodland Essence Breast Balm & Love Butter have created both a “Beautiful Breast Balm” and a “Love Butter” that are completely natural. Highly recommended!
Mother Nature’s Herbs
Great Support for Breast Health*
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Strength building, energizing, and enhancing vital life forces is what Dandelion Root does. It is rich in iron, manganese, phosphorus, protein, and vitamin A. It also contains bone building calcium, nerve soothing niacin, magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamin C complex. Dandelion root has traditionally been used to heal breast tissue, to regulate and stabilize hormonal production, and inhibit the growth of the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections.
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
Lady’s Mantle is an invaluable aid when dealing with lumpy breast tissue, achy breasts, easing tension, and relieving breast discomfort. Applying an external application of Lady’s Mantle to the breasts can increase the tone and firmness of breast tissue to restore and tone sagging breasts. (Contraindication: Pregnancy)
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
This beautiful pink fuzzy plant has a host of special benefits for women from puberty to old age. It quiets the nervous irritability associated with PMS and helps restore emotional balance when feeling stressed and tense. It assists menopausal women by balancing hormones, moderating mood swings, easing hot flashes, depression and heart palpitations. (Contraindication: Pregnancy – But can be used during labor)
Nettle (Urtica dioica)
One of the finest nourishing tonics in the entire plant kingdom, nettle greens are mineral rich and contain abundant chlorophyll, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A, C and K. Nettle is a wonderful ally for the pregnant women or nursing mother. Nettle provides optimum nourishment to build the brain, bones, blood, muscle, tissue, nerves, and organs of a healthy fetus, and also improves the quality and quantity of breast milk. Midwives usually recommend pregnant women drink nettle infusions for the last trimester, as its abundant vitamin K helps prevent hemorrhage. Drinking nettle tea during pregnancy can also strengthen the fetus and ease deliver and assist in helping stop bleeding after childbirth. Menopausal women also have a wonderful friend in nettle. With its rich stores of minerals, especially calcium, regular use of nettles will nourish your nervous system, calm and steady your nerves, strengthen your bones, and help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Regular use of nettles can boost energy levels, ease depression and mood swings, and support the healthy functioning of the kidneys and adrenal system which are naturally stressed during menopause.
Violet (Viola odorata)
Violet leaves contain two highly nourishing antioxidants – Vitamin C (more than any other leafy vegetable known), and vitamin A. The leaves can be eaten during spring and summer by lightly steaming them like spinach or dandelion leaves. They are nourishing to the lungs, nerves and reproductive systems. Violet leaves have a special affinity for the breast and fresh violet leaves can be used as a poultice for treating lumpy breast tissue, cysts, infections and growths.
*Herbs are powerful healers – seeing an Herbal Practitioner is highly recommended before using.
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