Connecting with Our Breasts
Women are conditioned to think of their breasts in terms of pregnancy, breastfeeding, or their partner’s pleasure. And of course, women are taught to think of their breasts in terms of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, which means if the incident rate stays the same, then 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. (2, 1)
Connecting with our breasts at every stage of life is a powerful reminder that our breasts are more than a way of providing nourishment for our babies. They’re more than a way to give other people sexual pleasure. They’re more than a risk for cancer.
Our breasts are an intimate part of us. They’re also play an essential role in the lymphatic system and draining toxins throughout the body. By connecting with our breasts through lymphatic massage, we become more in tune with them, which can let us know if something is wrong.
But lymphatic breast massage also lets us know when something is right. It’s a simple ritual but can allow us to connect to our breasts as they are in this moment and as our own source of comfort, pleasure, and good health.
Whether you’re looking for breast cancer prevention, you’re a breast cancer survivor, or you simply want to deepen your relationship to your breasts, breast massage is a powerful tool.
Self-Massage as Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast self-examination is often the only preventative option available to women under 40. While the American Cancer Society no longer recommends breast cancer self-examination as a screening tool, it’s still a no-cost, at-home procedure that can get women more connected to their breasts.
In the past, women were encouraged to give themselves breast self-exams every month to prevent cancer and report any suspicious bumps or lumps. The prescription was based in fear. There was no encouragement to spend time with or get to know your breasts. Self-exams were strictly about screening yourself for cancer.
We still encourage regular self-exams as a preventative tool, because it allows women to get familiar and comfortable with this part of their body and empowers them to know what’s normal for their healthy breasts.
In fact, we view breast massage as a love-based screening tool that could also promote pleasure and positive body image. We also believe that any ritual that gets women more in touch with their breasts will promote overall health, by stimulating the lymphatic system and removing the buildup of toxins.
Our breasts are a main intersection of important meridians, channels and lymphatic pathways for our body. The breasts are a multi-functional organ, that both feed our babies and store and process our toxins. Breasts are a complex matrix of fat cells, milk ducts, lymph nodes, pathways, and delicate tissue. Additionally, our breast tissue has ultra sensitive estrogen receptors, so our bodies put large amounts of estrogen in our chest tissue, close to the receptors in or breasts. What this means for us is that in order to keep our breasts healthy and functioning optimally, we need to pay special attention to the elimination of toxins and healthy detoxification pathways.
There are several easy ways to support your healthy breasts detoxification. These include minimizing time in tight and restrictive clothing/bras, avoiding the use of chemical antiperspirants, armpit & breast clay masks to draw out toxins, castor oil packs and manual drainage. Manual lymphatic drainage aka breast massage is one of the best ways to take extra measures to keep your breasts healthy.
Manual massage stimulates the lymphatic system in the breast tissue to flow. An optimally flowing lymph system will remove harmful toxins and renew the breast with fresh lymph fluids containing nutrients and immune cells. It also boosts circulation which brings re-oxygenated and life giving blood to the breasts.
Breast massage and especially nipple stimulation releases a delightful burst of serotonin and oxytocin, which associated with deep pleasure, mood stabilization and relaxation. It also plays a significant role in reducing the negative effects of cortisol and stress, helps you regulate sleep, and relives pain.
For most of us, our breasts are a big part of our sexuality. Feeling good about how our bosom looks is critical our confidence and feelings of self love. Breast massage is a special self care practice which deepens our connection to our bodies and intuition and is ideal for an all natural lift.