My mother’s breast cancer journey lasted 15 years. After so much suffering and pain, it was comforting to see her leave her body gently. I am dedicating this blog to her, to my daughters, my sister and to all of you. To our health!
Some years ago Christiane Northrup, M.D. began calling October Breast Health Awareness Month instead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That makes a lot of sense to me, even more so now, after experiencing my mom’s transition on August 23, 2011.
As many women have since the 50s, I was taught to do breast self-exams (BSE) for early detection of breast cancer. For years I was terrified of what I could find if I touched my breasts. This monthly search-and-destroy mission, as Dr. Susan Love, a breast cancer expert calls it, alienates us from our bodies.
I am one of those women who had too many unnecessary biopsies in both of my breasts. Since my mother had breast cancer, whenever a doctor looked at me they saw breast-cancer-waiting-to-happen.
Reclaiming my body’s wisdom is a day-by-day transformational process inspired by my daughters.
Finding cancer early is not cancer prevention. Instead, we need to focus on changing the way we feel about our bodies, touching our breasts freely and lovingly to develop “breast awareness” (per the American Cancer Society), and taking complete responsibility for our health and well-being.
Most importantly, we need to teach our daughters by the way we live our lives.
Every 13 minutes someone dies from breast cancer. Shifting from detection to a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to living our lives can significantly reduce those numbers by at least 50% and some new studies suggest as much as 77%*. A shift is needed from “fighting” to true prevention, from fear to fully experiencing our lives.
We can change the course of this devastating dis-ease for ourselves and our daughters by developing a strong understanding of our mind-body-spirit connection and developing lifestyle changes that support our health and well-being.
Developing a self-care routine that works for you, and remaining open and flexible will support you in learning to listen to your body at any given time.
The body is a great teacher, not the enemy. When we listen with love and compassion, the answers come gently and clearly.
Six Proactive Measures:
LIVE with Passion!
EAT a Plant Strong, Whole Foods Diet
PERSONALIZE Your Nutritional Supplementation
DETOXIFY your body from pollutants and your mind from toxic thoughts
Tools to Create Breast Health Everyday
• Breathe deeply into your belly to reduce stress and improve lymph flow.
• Massage your Lymph – Practice this simple four step lymphatic breast self-massage technique.
• Nourish your soul every day. – Meditate, get out in nature, pray, dance, sing, do yoga, laugh or whatever fills your soul with joy!
• Exercise daily. A study of 20,624 Norwegian women found those who exercised or worked out regularly cut their breast cancer risk by 72%.
• Give yourself permission to feel everything! Emotions are our guiding system.
• LET GO! -Some tools and teachers that make a difference in my life: Abraham-Hicks, Eckhart Tolle, The Work of Byron Katie, Joe Dispenza and Rapid Resolution Therapy. Rapid Resolution Therapy is by far the most effective therapy I have found!
• Transform the breast self exam. – Dr. Northrup suggests that we explore our breasts with love, respect and curiosity. During your daily shower or bath, massage your breasts with loving hands, learn how your breasts look and how they feel under your fingers. Essentially Pink recommends to “Tap your TULIPS for 2 minutes on Tuesdays!!” (Great site for girls.)
• Take vitamin D. – Research shows that there is a link between vitamin D and breast cancer. Studies have shown that women with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop breast cancer. – Learn More Vitamin D Council
• Sleep in the dark. – (I cover my windows and use a sleep mask for complete darkness.) The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (8/17/2001) reports that chronic suppression of melatonin — an anti-cancer hormone made only in the dark — increases breast cancer risk by at least 36%.
• Eat unrefined, low-glycemic foods and fresh organic fruits and vegetables. – A vegetarian diet is best for our health and the health of our planet. I believe we ingest the suffering of the animals we consume and that can not be good for our cells.
• Drink red clover blossom infusion. – Red clover is a potent anticancer herb. It contains ten times more phytoestrogens than soy, and in a more complete form. – Susun Weed, herbalist
• Castor oil packs – I have used these effectively to dissolve calcifications. I use a large heated flax seed bag instead of an electric heating pad. Use this time to rest, meditate, pray, and especially, to bless your body. Here is one way to do the castor oil packs.
• Reduce underlying scar tissue – Cocoa butter rubbed in daily for at least a three-month period, can substantially reduce scar tissue (not the scar but the underlying scar tissue). The lymph self massage recommended by the Breast Health Project was instrumental in dissolving the scar tissue in my breasts from so many biopsies.
• Educate yourself about breast cancer screening tests You can read more on Dr. Christiane Northrup’s The Best Breast Cancer Screening Tests
Read more about breast health, getting a thermogram instead of mammogram and suggestions if you were recently diagnosed with breast cancer on Dr. Christiane Northrup’s website.
*American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91
[Note: This post first appeared on The Peaceful Birth Project website. It was revised on October 2016 to reflect some new understandings I have gained in the last 3 years.]