Women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup says, “Our task as women is to learn, minute by minute, to respect ourselves and our bodies. Whether our breasts are small or large, perky or droopy, whether we have implants or lumps, or have had a mastectomy, all of ‘the girls’ are wonderful – and a source of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others.”
I agree! Unfortunately, many women don’t feel so positively about their breasts. Even worse, most don’t offer themselves the regular breast care practices that can help them develop a loving bond with their bodies and manage the wellbeing of their breasts. The good news is that, with some contemplation and a little bit of education, we can all step forward on the physical and emotional path to deliberate breast health.
Breast care is a hands-on affair! However, we must remember to be gentle with ourselves. Dr. Northrup suggests that when we touch our breasts, we remember to do so “with respect and caring.” We must begin with gratitude that our breasts are part of our bodies, and refrain from approaching our monthly exams with a “search-and-destroy mentality.”
We can massage our breasts as often as we like, even daily! We may not be in the habit of offering ourselves this kindness, but it’s a bit of gentle self-care that’s easy to add to our morning or evening routines. Here are three great benefits of breast massage:
- Promote Breast Health: According to the Texas Institute of Functional Medicine, breast massage is a viable way to release toxins from the body’s lymphatic system. Toxins can become trapped within the fat cells of breast tissue, increasing chances of cancer and restricting blood flow into the breast. Massaging the breasts gives the lymphatic system a boost and facilitates in the draining of breast tissue. Massaging also helps to break up benign cysts contained within breasts.
How to: After you’ve dried off from a bath or shower, lie down on your bed and massage the breasts right away. This will serve both as a self-exam and as a preventative procedure. Always pay special attention to the area under the armpit where the lymph nodes reside. “Massaging this area will assist in ridding your body of toxins, while increasing blood flow and life energy,” says Northrup. “Every cell in the breasts and other organs is bathed in lymph. Lymph carries nutrients and immune cells throughout the body and filters waste products through the lymph nodes, where they can be detoxified. Stimulating lymph circulation through regular massage of the breast and chest wall area can help maintain healthy breast tissue.”
- Reduce Tenderness: Breasts can become sore or swollen and cause discomfort at various points during the monthly cycle. Breast massage is an easy way to alleviate swelling and ease the soreness of the muscles underneath fatty tissues.
How to: Use small circular motions with all four fingers and press firmly to massage every part of the breasts for at least five minutes. You can do this with both hands on one breast at a time, or do them both at one if you’re in a hurry.
- Sexual Arousal: Did you know that many women can have orgasms from nothing more than breast and nipple stimulation? (Don’t worry if you can’t…it’s not a contest. All orgasms are good orgasms!) Breasts are an erogenous zone for many women and can bring about great sexual pleasure. In fact, breasts can swell up to 25 percent when a woman is aroused. Researchers from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that “women’s brains seem to process nipple and genital stimulation in the same way.”
How to: Use Breast Balm or a scented oil to massage the breasts simultaneously or individually. Use a variety of massage methods. Cup the breasts in the hands; use the fingers to knead. What happens if you focus on the nipples? Try different techniques! Remain in constant communication with your partner to know what feels right.
“The nerves from the breasts are connected to all the major organs and glands of the body.”
Our breasts are an important part of our life journeys as women. Caring for our breasts in a loving and tender way deepens our relationships with them while bolstering their health and vitality. Many women will be challenged in some way by compromised breast health during their lives. That might be something as simple as diminished “consciousness” or cystic breasts, or as profound as treatment associated with breast cancer. Regardless, we are better prepared to withstand that moment when we are engaged in a language of love with our breasts. I enjoy all-natural Breast Balm as an important part of that relationship.
Our breasts undergo monthly changes each month, and may be tender or lumpy at different points in that cycle. Regularly massaging Breast Balm into our breasts enhances our awareness of normal and natural changes and sharpens our ability to notice differences and irregularities requiring professional attention. In addition to fostering a positive relationship with our breasts, Breast Balm firms and invigorates breast tissue, moisturizes and softens the skin, and gently cleanses our lymph systems.
Hydrotherapy is a fantastic complement to Breast Massage. First practiced in ancient Greece, hydrotherapy uses the power of water to strengthen and detoxify the bodies’ immune system. Science has also found that a watery massage, especially with contrasting temperatures, increases blood circulation and the production of collagen and other skin proteins.
How to: Shower as us usual, and then allow your breasts to receive a steady stream of warm water for several minutes. Next, switch the shower to the coldest temperature you can manage and allow your breasts to respond to this contrast; 1-3 minutes. Repeat this action 3 times, always finishing with cold water. The key to the effectiveness of this therapy is the alternation of hot and cold water, which stimulates the immune and circulatory systems – to name a few!
In ancient traditions, the breasts of a woman were seen not only as holy but also as a physical extension of her heart. Take a few minutes today (and every day) to treat your body as the sacred temple it is…I do! Give your breasts this well-deserved attention. Massage them tenderly with a dedicated cream. Experiment with hydrotherapy. Look at your breasts in the mirror without judgment or criticism. Tell them that you love them…and mean it.