By Judy Moon
I’m going to start this blog with something I’ve never used before. An apology.
I have a feeling that this post might not sit well with everyone, and I want to say that I am sorry if you disagree or I offend you in any way, but I need to exercise my throat chakra on this and speak my truth. Again, it’s just my humble opinion and I’m not right or wrong, I just want to plant a seed…. which is what Wellness Seeds is all about!
I’m not down with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
There, I said it.
Is there anyone on this planet who is NOT AWARE of breast cancer?
Is there anyone who it has not impacted or anyone who has not had a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, cousin, niece, coworker, personal trainer, neighbor, teacher, friend, colleague, client, coach, heck let’s even pull in TV characters, people in the media, the list goes on and on… you KNOW someone. You ARE aware of it.
Let’s talk about the pink ribbons. I’m not a big fan of them either. GASP!
Again, I think at one time, they were doing their job at raising awareness. They feel kind of like a business to me now. A way to sell more things. I know a percentage of the proceeds go for research, but what is the percentage?
I know for some the pink ribbons are a reminder of something they “survived” or conquered and in some ways it feels like a celebration. I also know people who feel bad when they see them. It is a reminder of a very hard time in their life and something they feel is behind them.
I remember one fall my husband was watching football on a Sunday in October and I was passing through the living room and noticed the teams had on pink sneakers. I said – “What’s with the pink shoes?”. “It’s for breast cancer awareness”, he said. I rolled my eyes. He said ” What? It’s nice”. I replied, “No, I don’t think it’s nice. What a waste of money.” “I’m sure they get donated”, he said. “That’s not the point, somewhere, somebody paid something to make those sneakers – the materials, the labor to make them, etc. They didn’t – poof- magically appear from no where. Any of that money could have been donated in a more direct way and what happens to the shoes tomorrow? Do they end up in the trash?”
So here’s my radical proposal – let’s change October’s name to Breast Health Awareness month! Yay – release the balloons!
Doesn’t that sound and feel much, much better? The vibe is so much higher.
Let’s focus and raise awareness on how to keep breasts healthy!
How does one keep breasts healthy? So glad you asked! Let’s raise THAT awareness!
Here is a great article my friend, Melanie Sachs co-founder of Diamond Way Ayurveda had published recently all about ayurvedic breast massage.
In general, any breast massage is beneficial – breast massage stimulates the lymphatic system removing any toxic waste and brings nutrient rich blood to the area. You can literally just massage in the shower – just really get things moving!
Dr. Christiane Northrup has these great tips for keeping our breasts healthy –
How ALL Women Can Create Healthy Breasts
It’s important to remember that your body’s immune system is set up to recognize and destroy cancer cells in the right environment. Here are some health and lifestyle tips that I recommend for creating healthy breasts:
- Get Enough Sleep.Sleep restores the body and it’s during sleep that our bodies metabolize stress hormones. Aim for 8 hours per night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Sleep in a dark room. Turn off your cell phone and household WiFi.
- Exercise regularly.The benefits of regular moderate exercise are innumerable and studies show that physically active women have a decreased risk of cancer. You don’t have to join an expensive gym. Keep it simple with activities that you will stick with such as walking with a friend or dancing to music in your home.
- Eat a healthy diet.Aim for a diet that keeps your insulin, estrogen and eicosanoids balanced. Include lean protein at every meal. Reduce or eliminate sugar in all forms, including alcohol and packaged foods. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include a good source of iodine from food or as a supplement, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids. Note: It is also well-documented that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer, even in small amounts. But, this fact doesn’t stop most women from enjoying a glass of wine regularly and for many this is not a problem. I believe the reason is that enjoying the pleasure and ritual of a nice glass of wine over dinner with friends is greater than the fear of breast cancer!
- Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels.The best way to get your vitamin D is from safe exposure to sunlight. But many people need to take a supplement. I suggest taking 5,000 to 10,000 international units of Vitamin D per day. The idea is to maintain a therapeutic level between 50-70 ng/ml.
- Get Social.Get off your cell phone, computer, tablet or whatever, and get out with friends. Volunteer in your community or at your church. Take up a new activity, such as dancing or yoga. Having a fulfilling social life improves your immune system. When your immune system is healthy it naturally kills off pathogens and rogue cells that can lead to disease.
- Cultivate a Practice of Self-Care and Self-Love.This is the most important factor in creating health because carving out time to care for and love yourself unconditionally feeds your cells the positive thoughts and emotions they need to reproduce in a healthy way. There are many things you can do to cultivate this type of practice, such as meditate, say positive affirmations in front of the mirror, use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, or Tapping), keep a gratitude journal, walk in nature, or simply take time to breathe in and out through your nose fully (this stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system). Do whatever supports you. And, remember, every emotion you have is associated with a biochemical process in your body. So, allow the emotions of pleasure, receiving, and generosity to flow through you regularly.
- Lovingly massage your breasts.This is an extension of self-love. Regular, pleasurable breast massage is a perfect way to promote breast health! I suggest 5 minutes per day where you loving touch your breast without looking for any perceived abnormalities. And, go bra less as much as possible. This helps stimulate lymph flow, which releases toxins from breast tissue. It can also feel wonderful!
There’s all kinds of things you can do-
*Switch to a paraben free deodorant and be sure there’s no aluminum in it.
*Be mindful of how long you are wearing a bra, especially underwire bras since it can affect the flow of the lymph system.
If you are feeling the need to make a donation, the Susan Komen foundation does a lot of great fund raising and work with survivors (Let’s call them “Thrivers” instead!)
I also highly suggest Unite For Her” Unite for HER is committed to helping women diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their way through treatment by providing complementary therapies designed to promote physical and emotional wellness. Our goal is to be a continued resource and support system for those affected by breast cancer. Unite for her has a grant program that women can apply for enabling them to receive vouchers for things like massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrition counseling, Reiki, etc . They rock!
So I will end with an apology if I offended you and I encourage you to shift your vibration from a fear of what could happen to a place of how do I avoid this in the first place.
Happy Breast Health Awareness Month!