Archive for December, 2008

Creating a New Paradigm on the Cure for Breast Cancer

Essential to every woman is the care of her breasts! Whether small or large, breasts enhance the beauty of a woman’s body. They symbolize nurturance, pleasure and love. We love the way our breasts look in a low neck line dress, their delicate bounce and delightful curves. Our breasts are precious jewels and they are ours to keep.

Breast Cancer has become an epidemic in our society. An important cause for awareness supported by non-profits, benefits, fundraisers, walks and lots of money raised to find a cure. These events and organizations inspire hope within individuals who may have known or lost someone to breast cancer or may even be a survivor. A hope that one day a cure might be found to eliminate this disease that takes breasts and lives. Though there is no accurate reason for the cause of breast cancer, breast cancer incidence is influenced by family genes, not having children before the age of 35, and taking birth control pills in the early 20’s. Other breast cancer risk factors include inadequate diet, environmental toxins, metabolic and hormonal imbalances, synthetic hormones, and chronic stress to our emotional well-being.

Our present health care system stresses the importance of early detection and breast screening through mammograms and breast self-exams. Mammograms are able to detect calcifications and lumps in the breast, though there is controversy about the effects of radiation on the breast tissue and the accuracy of these x-rays on women with dense breast tissue. Breast ultrasounds and MRI’s offer alternative screening options for women with denser breast tissue. I heard at one point the American Cancer Society was discouraging breast self-exams as a form of early detection for breast cancer screening. This concerns me because I feel that every component of preventative breast screening is necessary in helping us to detect if there is a lump in the breast. Eliminating breast self-exams disconnects us from our bodies making us completely unfamiliar with our breast anatomy while diminishing our innate intuitive wisdom which is a woman’s most powerful attribute.

Conventional breast self-exams are a powerful tool to learning what normal breast tissue feels like and to respond proactively when a change occurs. Most women that I have encountered are fearful when the topic of breast exams are discussed. We are fearful because we are unfamiliar with what normal tissue feels like and what we may discover. Empowering oneself by learning the structure and function of the breast as well being comfortable palpating the breast tissue will allow us to respond thoughtfully if a change occurs in the breast.

Many people believe that breast cancer is something external to us and a cure will be found to end it all. That we need to fight and beat this disease. What about embracing breast cancer and recognizing that one’s body is sending a message of an imbalance. That our health is not just some external thing that happens to us, it is a manifestation of our lives, experiences, and emotions. We know our bodies better that anyone and we have the power to change it.

It is important that we focus our energy, money and efforts in creating breast health. This means on a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Let’s stop waiting till we get breast cancer to take care of ourselves. Fortunately there is more awareness of how one can make healthy lifestyle changes in promoting breast wellness through articles in health magazines, the internet, wellness programs and organizations through cancer eliminating foods, low fat diets, green tea, flax, omega 3 fatty acids and exercise. The Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safer Cosmetic is working hard to create awareness on the plight of toxins in our cosmetics and personal care products. This awareness is the start of a global shift of consciousness as we rethink breast cancer.

In creating a new paradigm on the cure for breast cancer we must first start by:

1. Eliminating old stigmas from society, culture and our own personal experiences that has influenced how we view breasts. These old perceptions are based on fear and sexual objectification and are affecting how women think and care for their breasts. Women are afraid to touch their breasts for fear of finding something or if new concepts of touch are suggested that could benefits the health of breast tissue, women are hesistant because cultural programming considers this taboo. We need to recognize that breasts have specific health needs and are an appendage to a woman’s body for the purpose of nourishing a child.

2. To become aware of how our emotional well-being is strongly interlaced with our physical well-being. The power of the mind, what we feel and think about, our emotional stress and how we respond to it plays an important role in the health of our bodies. Studies show that women who get breast cancer nurture everyone else but themselves. The breasts are symbols of nourishments. What an irony that the cancer would attack the breasts when we don’t give nurturing to ourselves. The inability for a women to nurture herself is a major component affecting our heart chakra, our source of love. The messages that our body sends through disease may be a sign of an emotional issue that needs healing. Making positive changes that support our emotional needs can help treat imbalances before they manifest physically. Eastern medicine also suggests that breast related conditions are a result of emotional frustration, hurt, sadness, and anger causing our liver to become stagnant. As a result the breasts become a waste receptacle to toxins in the body showing the interconnection between the mind and body.

By listening to our bodies we can recognize symptoms of an emotional imbalance. The pain might be a holding pattern that has reoccured and finally needs to be healed. Maybe a pattern in our relationships with family or lovers or our own self worth. How we change is up to us. We need to have a vision of what we want and recognize what might be hindering that. We need to change our thought patterns and behaviors. Our unconscious core beliefs that may be sabotaging or limiting ourselves need to be healed. Perhaps we need to use our voice in a relationship to build our self-esteem or to leave a situation that is not serving us may be necessary in order to replenish our energy.

3. Educate women about the benefits of a lymphatic based breast massage, a complementary modality to breast care that provides an effective means in preventing and alleviating common breast related conditions and may offer a measure against breast cancer. If you have ever received a massage you know that massage increases blood circulation while eliminating toxins from the lymphatic system which is our detox system of the body. Breasts are soft tissue like anywhere else in the body and have specific health needs. Breasts have no inherent musculature so are dependent upon good circulation for optimal health. The natural peristaltic rhythm of our breasts can often get compromised due to factors like emotional stress, poor posture, tight brassieres, toxin in our foods and personal care products, and trauma. These waste materials can accumulate in the tissue causing stagnancy and buildup. A lymphatic based breast massage with nourishing herbal oils can provide a simple and effective way to ease benign conditions of the breast and may provide a preventative measure against breast cancer.

Benefits include:

  • Alleviates premenstrual pain and discomfort associated with breasts
  • May help reduce fibroids and cysts
  • Ease lumpiness of fibrocystic breasts
  • Balancing effect on the hormones
  • Improves breast size and shape
  • Increased oxygen and nutrients
  • Eases lymphatic congestion
  • Promotes relaxation
  • May help reduce scars and stretchmarks
  • Encourages familiarity with one’s body and cultivates a healthy body image
  • Encourages lymphatic circulation and relieves pain for post-surgery healing
  • Acceptance of one’s body for post-oncological healing

4. Be informed and take personal breast health care into your own hands. Education and awareness are foremost. Let’s focus on health prevention and maintenance with healthy food, supplements, hormonal balance, exercise, emotional and spiritual cleansing, reducing our exposure to toxins in our environment and chemicals in our household and personal care products, recognize the importance of self-breast massage and nourishing organic herbal oils to improve the health of the breast tissue, acupuncture, chinese medicine, and energy healing. Let’s be guided by our vision and the power of our intention that we can create health for a lifetime.

Article written by Jennifer Telford L.M.T, C.W.C, a women’s health and empowerment advocate whose vision is to unite women in creating a new paradigm on the cure for breast cancer by educating women about a new model of breast care that encourages women to think differently in how we care for our breasts.

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