Minding Your Mammaries:
Back to The Basics!
Just a handful of insights can make a huge difference in optimizing the health of your breasts. And with Breast Cancer Awareness Month upon us, Groovy Booby likes to reset the groove toward Breast Health Awareness.
This issue of Feel The Groove outlines Groovy Booby's Five Breast-Health Basics.
Gleaning lessons learned from Cheryl Chapman, RN, Pioneer in Breast Massage for Cancer and Mastectomy, breast cancer survivor and author of The Happy Breast Book, these basic five areas directly impact every woman's breast health, for better or worse:
- Breast Anatomy
- Breast Massage
- Cultural/Emotional Influences
- Types of Breast Screening
1. Breast Anatomy
Keep this vast real estate in mind: female breast tissue extends from the collarbone down to the underarm and across to the middle of the ribcage.
What you can't see from this image is that the entire area (not just the green lines) contains a beautiful and life-preserving lymphatic network. Lymph fluid is the precious serum of life that offers your breasts the nutrition, immunity and detoxification needed for optimum health. Lymph transports proteins, fats, infection-fighting white blood cells, bacteria, cell debris, enzymes and hormones to and from the breast tissue as needed.
This lymphatic network is so absolutely crucial to breast health, it is the pinnacle of our breast anatomy lesson. Did you know there is three times more lymph fluid in the body than blood? This sheds some light on the advice to "pump the liquids" when your not feeling well.
Above your breasts, below your breasts, through your breasts, behind your breasts, into your neck and underarms, etc, all are filled with life-giving lymph channels.
Lymph fluid moves and drains through the mammary space, front to back, nipple toward ribcage. Like life itself, to work effectively lymph needs to flow freely.
The digital infrared thermal image at left shows a young woman in her twenties with lymph congestion in both breasts. This congestion is inflammation. Inflammation is the precursor to all degenerative diseases, including cancer.
At right is her three month follow up scan. Notice her lymph congestion is getting worse. Seeing this scan prompted her to quit smoking and drinking. (BTW, a new study suggests that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer in several areas of the body). The bottom line: Love Your Lymph.
2. Prepare for Impact: Becalm the Bra
Important lymphatic drainage sheds for the breasts are located precisely were brassieres wrap around the rib cage.
In addition, anything that compresses your breasts, such as tight or padded bras, elastic clothing, shape-wear garments, etc., inhibits lymph flow through the mammary space. When such garments are worn for long periods of time, stagnant lymph can cause breast swelling, pain and discomfort.
Sluggish lymph encourages parasites, yeasts and bacteria to live and thrive in our lymphatic ocean. All types of illnesses spread by feeding on garbage clogging our inner waterways, including cancer.
Lymph fluid normally moves through muscular movements, respirations, and through varied pressure on the skin, such as the movement of clothing, touch and massage. Breasts do not have muscles, so they can't pump lymph fluid.
Too often, breasts are confined to a bra, sometimes 24/7 (not healthy), so make it a health care practice to remove your bra as often as possible, especially at bedtime. More delicious ideas to reduce the impact of bras at www.groovybooby.com/bras
3. Breast Massage a.k.a. Phluff™ The Girls
Phluff™ is Cheryl's trademark for Personal Hand Lymphatic Undulation Flow Faciliatation, a.k.a. moving lymph through the breast. Breast massage is intelligent, preventative health care:
Relieves congestion in breast tissue, i.e., swelling, clogged ducts, infection
Moves lymph fluid and prevents stagnation, allowing killer T cells to do their work.
Honors and reconnects a woman’s body, restoring wholeness.
Reduces breast pain and alleviates breast symptoms of PMS and fibrocystic breasts.
Enhances milk flow and production during breast feeding while easing discomforts associated of breastfeeding.
Releases oxytocin, the love hormone, counteracting stress and free radical damage throughout the body.
4. The Influence of Culture
A holistic orientation recognizes that health is deeply affected by the kinds of attention we receive and give. Nothing illustrates this better than the famous Dr. Masaru Emoto's water crystal experiments. When you consider we are mostly comprised of water, (90% of body weight comes from water) these images are deeply relevant. Loving care organizes our body fluids at a molecular level for optimum functioning. Destructive messages break it down.
In western cultures, the sheer volume of negative attitudes surrounding women and their breasts must not be underestimated. These unhealthy emotional
messages are just as toxic to your health as chemicals in the environment.
Fight breast-shaming dogma wherever you encounter it.
- Breast Unhappiness - study after study shows 70% or more of women and girls are unhappy with their breasts. According to American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, of the 1.7 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2015, breast augmentation remains #1. Even if you've already had cosmetic breast augmentation, love the breasts you've got--especially if you're lucky enough to still have them!
- Sexualization of the Breast - as breasts became more sexualized, the idea of women breast-feeding infants, especially in public, but even in private, became percieved as abnormal. This is unhealthy for both mother and infant. In most cultures in the world, breasts are not considered sexual.
- The Breast Obsession - Our young girls continually see breast-obsessed propaganda. Without a balanced view of natural naked breasts, it is no wonder girls start from a very young age to seriously worry about the size and shape of their breasts. Women under the spell of this socialization, with no other cultural context, continue to worry about the size and shape of their breasts for the rest of their lives.
5. Last but Not Least - Screening Options
"Breast tissue is second only to fetal tissue in sensitivity to radiation."1 2 3 4 5 6
Yet millions of well-intentioned women who genuinely care about their health submit their breasts regularly to mammography--a breast x-ray. When this is done yearly, over a period of a decade or more, do you know how many rads of radiation this is?
Amazingly, the only widely acknowledged cause of breast cancer is radiation exposure. It is one of four cancers directly linked with radiation exposure (the other three: leukemia, thyroid and brain cancers).
Mammography is used to find structural tissue abnormalities. In order for x-rays to "see" a structure, that structure must be dense enough, and in the case of tumors, progressed enough (large enough), for the radiation to be blocked, thereby appearing as a concentrated white area. Unfortuntaely, it can take up to a decade of growth for a tumor, mass or lump to be detected using this technology. This means mammography is not "early" detection.
On the other hand, digital infrared thermal imaging is used to find physiological/metabolic changes over time. It is non-invasive (i.e., no-touch), radiation-free, pain free, FDA approved and endorsed by the American Breast Cancer Foundation. Thermal Imaging sees your unique metabolic heat “map," and is able to disclose pathology at the earliest tissue changes--as early as three months. Perhaps most importantly, thermography can detect the most aggressive form of breast cancer–inflammatory breast cancer –which mammography cannot.
To learn more about your screening options, visit www.groovybooby.com/screening-options
That's It--You're Now A Natural Breast-Health Advocate!
We've just rehearsed five basic influences on breast health that mainstream breast care models neglect. To review any of these in more detail, visit any of these links on our site, www.groovybooby.com:
- Breast Anatomy
- Breast Massage
- Cultural/Emotional Influences
- Breast Screening
Please join us November 5th, 2016 at the Second Annual Women's Health Naturally! Expo & Workshops. Groovy Booby will be there to discuss and explore, "Love Your Lumps: Breast Lumps And How To Care For Them."
All the Breast,
Najma Lynn Waters
Groovy Booby: The Loving Breast Care Revolution!