October is “Breast Health Awareness Month”…. and I’m going to give you some simple self-care tips that you can implement at home.
Here in America, our health care system highlights the importance of breast health during the month of October. All the information is being offered with the best of intentions, however, I find a couple of very important tips missing from the common dissemination of information: what you can do to keep yourself ahead of the game.
Most of the information I see out in the mainstream media and at doctor’s offices is focused on what you do, once a lump has been found. For example: Breast Self-Exam, getting a regular Mammogram, having your doctor check you regularly. This is all great, but, the challenge with this, is that the growth has already started. I wouldn’t call this ‘prevention’ but rather, ‘detection’. In the traditional medical model, once something is found, there are attempts made to remove the offending lump/mass. I feel that this is a ‘victim’ mentality, with women feeling helpless and just sort of ‘waiting around’ to see if they are ‘one of the ones’.
I would like to present you with some regular self-care choices that can empower you (and, if you are a man, you can share these with the special women in your lives).
Basically, like any other tissue in the body, the breast requires a good blood supply (oxygen and nutrients) to the tissue and then a good venous supply to take waste products and de-oxygenated blood back to the lymph and heart.
I’ve read several different theories on the origination of cancer in the breast tissue, and I’m not going to expound on any of them here. There are great sources online for that. However, in a nutshell, the best way to keep the breast healthy is to keep a good blood supply going to the breast, ensure proper elimination of waste products from the breast, and then to keep inflammatory levels low in the entire body. Of course, that’s an oversimplification of the process, but that gives you the ‘big idea’.
Here are some simple ideas of things you can do for yourself to increase circulation to and from the breast tissue and to decrease bodily inflammation:
- Wear wireless bras (the wires constrict the bloodflow)
- Breast massage…. helps to keep the tissue from getting tight and fibrotic and increases blood flow. Dr. Christiane Northrup has some great ideas on this.
- Cold showers in the mornings to increase lymph flow from the breasts
- Exercise! Women should sweat everyday to get the toxins out of the body.
- Rather than using an anti-perspirant (this stops up the sweat glands in the arm pits, thereby preventing the toxins from getting out of the breast area), use a deoderant. ‘Tom’s of Maine’ is a good one and there are others available at the health food store. Try different ones until you find one that is right for you.
- De-stress! Stress is the #1 cause of inflammation in the body. You can de-stress by: lying flat on your back 1-2 times per day for 11 minutes and long deep breathe, taking a walk, listening to relaxing music, laughing.
- Diet Maintain a diet low in saturated fats by avoiding fried foods and red meats. Increase your intake of whole grains like millet, quinoa, brown rice, dark leafy greens. Breast cells respond to dietary changes faster than any other cells in the body.
- Eat organically grown foods, whenever possible (the chemicals used on foods mimic estrogen and this increases the risk of cancers)
- Drink water…. shoot for a gallon a day of clean, filtered water. Do NOT drink out of plastic!! I have been nice about this in the past but not anymore. The water leeches the plastic and, again, it acts as a chemical estrogen. Plus, plastic is so bad for the environment. Use old glass juice or pasta jars, if you don’t want to buy glass.
- Increase your intake of good oils such as, olive oil, flax (1 Tablespoon per day recommended), walnut, coconut, hemp, sunflower.
- Thermography is availbable in different clinics around the world. This is a great test available to detect heat and increased inflammation in the body. It can detect heat in the breast area up to a year before a Mammogram can detect anything. If you can see the heat, you know something is going on and you can make lots of lifestyle changes to reduce the heat and swelling.
Preventing Breast cancer is do-able and not out of our reach. It is easier to prevent than most people realize. We do have tools available to us that can support our health and well-being.
I encourage you to try some of these above tips. Even if you try one of them and do that for 6 months and add something into your day in another 6 months, you will be making slow, steady changes to your overall health.
With blessings for continued health and vitality to you and your families,