Our task as women is to learn, minute by minute, to respect ourselves and our bodies—whether we have small breasts or large breasts, implants or mastectomies. When we can appreciate our breasts as potential or actual sources of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others, our breast health begins to improve immediately.
When you touch your breasts each month, do so with respect and caring. Thank your breasts, chest, and heart area for being a part of your body. Forgive yourself if you’ve continually showered messages on them that they’re too large, too small, too droopy, or too lumpy. Commit to respecting your breasts and accepting them as worthy parts of your body.
Remember, thoughts and feelings have physical effects. Open yourself to receiving help, nourishment, and compassion from yourself and others. When you experience events that cause you sorrow, resentment, or pain, allow yourself to quite literally get these feelings off your chest by experiencing your emotions fully, grieving fully, and then letting go so that you can “make a clean breast of it.”
Spiritual and Holistic Options
Since what we pay attention to expands, my hope for all women is that they focus more on breast health than breast cancer. Here are some tips that will help you do just that. Make some or all of these suggestions a part of your daily routine—and tell every woman you know to do the same.
10 Steps for Creating Breast Health
Step 1: Imagine that your breasts, chest, ribs, lungs, heart, and shoulders are now bathed in the golden white light of healing.
Spend about 30 seconds seeing and feeling the power of this light. Imagine the blood and lymph supply to your chest area cleansing the muscles, breast tissue, heart, blood vessels, lungs, lymph nodes, and skin of this area with each beat of your heart. Continue to feel the power of this light, and release any old debris associated with resentment, fear, anxiety, and pain. Just allow the light to wash it all away, using the power of your own heart beat.
Step 2: Use the healing power of alignment to help nourish your chest area.
Stand or sit up tall. Imagine that there’s a string going from the top of your head up to the ceiling. Allow that string to pull your spine straight—increasing the space between each vertebra. Now open your chest, and align your shoulders. Increase the space between your shoulders and your ears so that your shoulders are relaxed and not pulled up into your ears!
Step 3: Use the healing power of your breath.
Now, sitting or standing with beautiful alignment, take three slow, deep breaths in through your nose. Feel the newly oxygenated air going right down to the base of each lung field. Try to breathe in more deeply with each sequential breath. And allow each breath to escape easily through your nose. You have now given your entire breast and chest area an invigorating massage that has helped your lymph circulation remove old toxins and debris from your breasts and surrounding areas.
Step 4: Now give yourself a “love and compassion” rinse.
Think about someone or something that you love unconditionally—a baby, a puppy, a sleeping child. Think of how much that being brings to your life and how much you love them. Now imagine yourself as a little child who is totally loveable and vulnerable. Take yourself into your own heart. Visualize yourself both as you are now—and as you were as a child. Bathe both you and your child-self in pink light. Enjoy this feeling for 30 seconds or more.
Note: You may feel a tingling sensation in your chest or breasts similar to the milk “let-down” reflex experienced when you’re nursing a child and she cries. This feeling is physical proof that the “milk of human kindness” is no mere metaphor. It is a physical reality in your body that helps create breast health.
Step 5: Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.
Now imagine that your Higher Power, or spiritual self, is standing right in front of you. And she is the very embodiment of love and compassion. She reaches out, touches your head, and says, “I now forgive you for all the times you ate too much ice cream, got angry with your children, didn’t clean your room, were disorganized, or didn’t keep your promises to yourself or someone else. I forgive you for being human and for not being able to make your mother, father, children, husband, boss, or friends happy. I forgive you for ever doubting your worth. I forgive you for having needs and for needing other people to love you. I forgive you for trying to hide your pain behind a brave and stoic face.” Feel free to change this to suit your circumstances.
Step 6: Give yourself permission to feel—everything.
Now give yourself permission to be honest about your feelings with yourself—and at least one other person you completely trust. To get started, just tell that other person how you really feel about things: Feel sad for your losses or the losses of others; angry at those who have betrayed you, let you down, or left you out; disappointed for the ways in which your life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would; fearful of being alone, abandoned, or left out; hurt by someone or something. Let yourself feel it all—warts and all. Rant and rave, hit something, get down on the floor and wail, cry your eyes out. Do whatever you need to do to “get it off your chest.” Give yourself at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Step 7: Notice how light your heart and chest feel.
Feel how light and free you feel when you allow yourself to lay down the burden of a heavy heart. Notice that your ability to lighten up and feel joy is directly proportional to your ability to acknowledge, feel, and express your anger, sadness, and grief.
Step 8: Appreciate the wonder of emotional balance.
Notice that joy and grief are two sides of the same coin. Life is not complete without the ability to feel a wide palette of emotions. Release any judgment you have about “negative” feelings. But don’t allow yourself to wallow in them overly long, either. Don’t make the mistake of believing that “enlightened” people no longer feel painful emotions. The truth is that enlightened people feel everything—and they use their feelings to guide them toward lives of greater meaning and fulfillment.
Step 9: Use the wisdom of mind/body unity.
The body and mind are a seamless unity. And each part of our bodies has its own meaning. The heart, breasts, lungs, and shoulder areas are in the fourth emotional center. The health of this area of the body is affected by our ability to express all emotions fully. It is also affected by 1) the capacity to form mutual, reciprocal relationships with a balance of giving and receiving; 2) nurturing oneself vs. nurturing others; and 3) intimacy with others vs. the capacity to be alone and happy with our own company. Your breast cells—and those of the surrounding organs—are profoundly affected by your ability to create balance in these three key areas of life.
Step 10: Know that your own personal “inner healer” is always on call.
Its beeper is activated by your sincere intent to create health on all levels: body, mind, and spirit. It can renew your cells overnight. Or it can release you to another plane altogether. All it needs is your permission. Let your inner healer create vibrant health in all the areas of your fourth emotional center!
Learn More — Additional Resources
- The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 13, “Creating Breast Health”
- Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 10, “Breasts”
- Sacred Choices: The Gentle Art of Disarming a Disease and Reclaiming Your Joy! by Judie Chiappone