Join Our Community

Wonderful Self-Care for Breasts

Heal Your Life Blog

Wonderful Self-Care for Breasts

Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Oct 24, 2011 at 03:15 AM 0 comments

Our task as women is to learn, minute by minute, to respect ourselves and our bodies. Whether our breasts are small or large, perky or droopy, whether we have implants or lumps, or have had a mastectomy, all of “the girls” are wonderful. Our breasts are a source of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others, and should be seen as such!

You can improve your breast health almost immediately with these self-care practices:

  • When you touch your breasts, do so with respect and caring. Be grateful they are part of your body. That means if you do a monthly breast self-exam, do NOT do it with a search-and-destroy mentality. This isn’t a military exercise whose purpose is finding and killing an enemy! Instead thank your breasts, chest, and heart area for being a part of your body as you lovingly touch these parts of yourself. Pay special attention to the area up under the armpit where all the lymph nodes are. Massaging this area will assist in ridding your body of toxins, while increasing blood flow and life energy!
  • Open yourself to receiving help, nourishment, and compassion from self 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, and then letting go. Make a clean breast of it.
  • Minimize the time you wear your bra every day. Don’t wear a bra to bed. The lymph channels around your breasts and in your armpits need to flow freely. Tight bras shut off this lymph flow, making it much harder for your body to detoxify breast tissue.
  • Sweat it out. Regular exercise is medicine for your breasts. It helps detoxify your body and also helps decrease the amount of estrogen that affects your breasts. Women who exercise regularly have a 30 percent decreased risk for breast cancer.
  • Eat a low-glycemic diet. High blood sugar, which occurs when you eat a high-glycemic diet instead, results in high insulin levels. A high-glycemic diet is a well-documented risk factor for breast disease.
  • Many holistically oriented healthcare practitioners utilize hormone profiles (which can be done by Genova Diagnostics) that measure how well you are metabolizing estrogen—and into what kind of end products. Some metabolites of estrogen are harmful to breast tissue and some aren’t.
  • Supplement! Take a comprehensive multivitamin/mineral supplement that is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, E, B-complex, D, beta-carotene is a must. (This means at least four pills per day.) Antioxidants help the cells in your breasts fight cellular inflammation, which can be a precursor to breast cancer. Get plenty of vitamin D. Studies show that women with optimal levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of breast cancer. Your vitamin D level should be at least 40 ng/ml. If it’s not, talk with your doctor and come up with the best strategy for raising your levels of this important nutrient. Be prepared to take up to 50,000 IUs per week until your levels are high enough and then 1,000–5,000 IUs per day after that.

Finally, give yourself the gift of forgiveness. 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, or didn’t clean up. I forgive you for not keeping a promise to yourself or someone else. I forgive you for being human and for not being able to make everyone 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.”

This forgiveness extends to what you have or haven’t done for your health in the past. If you wish you had done things differently, that’s OK! Every day is a new day, and the perfect day to start practicing prevention.

|2011-10-01 00:00:00|1||The Christiane Northrup Blog|dr_christiane_northrup|0|breast health,breast cancer,self-care,breast self exam,forgiveness,lymph Are You Aging or Sage-ing?|

A great lady turns 85.

|

Recently I participated in an interview for a documentary on the subject of aging. “Is 60 really the new 40?”  It reminded me of a class I took in college where we explored the theory that what you believe about aging, your expectations, will determine what your experience of aging will be. Do we have to accept the notion that aging must involve deterioration of body and mind? I’ve always said that I will never let an old person into my body. That is, I don’t believe in “thinking” old.

Although I’ve transitioned through many bodies—a baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, mid-life and older adult—my spirit is unchanged. I support my body with exercise, my mind with reading and writing, and my spirit with the knowing that I am part of the Divine source of all life. Don’t program yourself to break down as you age with thoughts that decline is inevitable.

On October 8th, one of my greatest role models will celebrate her 85th birthday. The beautiful, vibrant, sprightly, wise, and witty Louise Hay. Louise has been celebrating her life ever since she discovered at around 40 years old that your thoughts can change the way you experience things. Want more happiness, peace, joy, health, love, and abundance in your life? Think on these things.

Louise says, “I return to the basics of life: forgiveness, courage, gratitude, love, and humor.” Using these principles in the form of daily positive affirmations, it is possible to program your thoughts and transform your life. We are connected to a Source of infinite love within that we can use to heal our lives and help others do the same. Louise teaches mirror work—looking at yourself with love and gratitude always. Giving back, moving ahead, loving life, learning, and growing—this is Louise’s program for a long and happy experience here on this earthly plane. At almost 85, Louise is in the midst of the kind of active and vital life that comes from being hopeful, grateful, and ready to smile.

Happy Birthday, Louise, and many more to come!

|2011-09-28 10:30:00|1||The Wayne Dyer Blog|dr_wayne_w_dyer|0|wayne dyer,louise hay,aging,health,positive thinking,affirmations,gratitude Healthy or Harmful?|

Beware the piranhas of fear.

|

Whenever I felt frightened about a new venture, my mother would share her favorite quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt:  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That has stayed with me through many a scary time. It made so much sense, but now I think the times have created a new metaphor around fear. Essentially, we are in the midst of a culture that loves to dole out fear as if it were candy.

Not a day goes by without some news telling us we must avoid something that might be detrimental to our well-being. If you watch any of the 24-hour news channels, you’re likely to discover something frightening every few minutes. Even when an anchor person is discussing a subject that is somewhat tepid, you can rest assured that there will be a message scrolling on the bottom of your TV screen reporting a murder or a new health scare.

Our bodies are programmed to help us to “fight or flee” if we are under siege. This mechanism is ready whether it is real or imagined. If our perceptions are such that we feel under attack, the constant flooding of cortisol throughout our systems will eventually damage our body’s immune system. It will also make us anxious and depressed.

In today’s world, the media seems focused on scaring the living hell out of us as a form of entertainment. This segues into every nook and cranny of our lives. Eating a meal with friends or family has become riddled with dialogue about whether the ingredients are healthy or harmful. One day we hear blueberries could lead us to the promised land, the next we are on the road to damnation.

Children are so protected that the days of seeing them running around outdoors is becoming practically extinct. It could make the national news if someone sees a group of kids playing kickball in the streets without helmets, kneepads and an emergency medical kit close at hand. Talking to a stranger in a line at the grocery store might kill you if they have the slightest sniffle. And you had better reflect on your behavior if you talk too much, flush the toilet too many times or have a need to call your mother too often. Maybe it’s time to stop feeding the piranhas of fear.

Lighten Up Your Week:

Information can be useful or useless. It’s up to you to sort it out. This week, use it wisely and don’t become its slave.

|2011-09-30 09:45:00|1||Lighten Up with Loretta LaRoche|loretta_laroche|0|loretta laroche,fear,franklin d. roosevelt,healthy living,behavior Applause! Applause!|

You deserve a standing ovation!

|

It’s Louise’s 85th birthday this week. As we celebrate all of the beautiful gifts this exceptional woman, teacher and mentor has given us, I’d like to remind you of the importance of celebrating who you are!

A few months ago, we had a celebration with dear friends for my husband Michael’s birthday. After enjoying a fun meal together, Michael opened his presents and one, in particular, had us all speechless for a few moments. 

Our friends, Bob and Melissa, gave Michael a beautiful rosewood-colored box. When Michael opened the box, there was nothing inside, however a soundtrack of joyful applause began to play. We listened as cheers and clapping filled the air. It was as if Michael had just finished an outstanding performance in front of an audience who had jumped to their feet to show their enthusiasm, appreciation and support. We could literally feel the love. 

As the applause died down, we all stood silently looking at each other. Then, we laughed and talked about the power of the metaphor. Imagine having access to applause, approval, appreciation, and acknowledgment for who you are, and all that you do, large or small, every day of your life? How would things change? What risks would you take? Would you make different choices in your life?

While you might not have an applause box, there are things you can do to create the same support and inspired feelings. Start with these three ideas:

Choose Your Audience Wisely. Surround yourself with people who see you and appreciate who you really are. Make it a practice to keep the company of those who only want the very best for you. Stop wasting your time trying to convince those who don't get you or understand your choices in life. You need cheerleaders, not projects.

Become a Champion for Yourself. Speak kindly and positively to yourself all the time. Look in a mirror regularly and applaud your successes. (I keep a makeup mirror on my desk for this purpose thanks to Louise Hay). Literally pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Get in the habit of being your own best supporter when things don't go the way you planned. Tell yourself, It's okay, it's okay, we're learning and growing every day!

Get the Message. Here's something fun you can do right now. Send loving daily messages to yourself using some kind of reminder software. Say things like: You're awesome! I think you're terrific! You rock! Or, I always have your back!  I use an app called TellMeLater that allows me to send an email to my computer and a text to my iPhone with these fun, supportive messages. While it might seem like a silly idea, trust me, you'll smile anyway. 

Human beings grow with love and support, not criticism or neglect.  Be your own best cheerleader and watch your life soar!

Take Action Challenge

Take at least one suggestion from above and implement it now. Get a mirror for your desk, set up regular reminder messages, or make a conscious effort to get together encouraging friends more often. You deserve daily applause so let's make it happen!

|2011-10-03 10:15:00|1||The Cheryl Richardson Blog|cheryl_richardson|0|cheryl richardson,affirmations,celebration,success,love,support Your Future is Always Bright|

Treasure each year of your life.

|

I’m going to be 85 this Saturday. I choose to see my life moving in different directions, all of them equally good. Some things are even better now than the way they were in my youth. My younger years were filled with fear; my todays are filled with confidence.

My own life really didn’t begin to have meaning until I was in my mid-40s. At the age of 50, I began my publishing company on a very small scale. The first year I made a profit of $42. At 55, I ventured into the world of computers. They scared me, but I took classes and overcame the fear. Today I have three computers and travel with my iPad everywhere! At 60, I had my first garden. At this same time, I enrolled in a children’s art class and began to paint. At 70 and 80, I was more creative and my life continues to get richer and fuller.

I still write, I lecture, I teach through my actions. I am constantly reading and studying. I own a very successful publishing company and have two non-profits. I’m a dedicated organic gardener. I grow most of my own food. I love people and parties. I have many loving friends. I travel extensively. I also am still painting and taking classes. My life has really become a treasure chest of experiences.

I want to help you create a conscious idea of your later years, to help you realize that these can be the most rewarding years of your life. Know that your future is always bright, now matter what your age. See your later years becoming your treasure years.

Instead of just getting old and giving up and dying, let’s learn to make a huge contribution to life. We have the time, we have the knowledge, and we have the wisdom to move out into the world with love and power.
Step forward, use your voice, get out in the world, and LIVE!

Let’s affirm: I rejoice in each passing year of my life.

|2011-10-05 11:30:00|1|public://imports/2294.jpg|The Louise Hay Blog|louise_l_hay|0|louise hay,aging,confidence,fear,computers,ipad,reading,wisdom,self-confidence,birthday Stay Loose|

Honor the eternal force within.

|

Whether you are waiting to return a serve on the tennis court or listening for your name to be called for a job interview, your instinct is to stay loose. Be ready, be flexible, be poised to respond when the time is right. Staying loose is part of living in the present moment. Your readiness to move is part of your wisdom and gives you the power you need to live your best life. In the 76th verse of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu describes the flexibility that living things possess: “All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life.” He contrasts that living pliability with the dry and brittle quality of death. Choosing to remain flexible is choosing life: “A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind.”

You may have been taught that strength is measured by how “hard” you are in your thinking or how inflexible you are in your opinions and that weakness is associated with those who bend. But when confronted with any stressful situation, keep in mind that being stiff won’t get you very far, whereas being flexible will carry you through.

Change the way you think about strength. Aren’t the physically and mentally strong those who can bend and adapt to life—especially as we age? The more you think in rigid ways, refraining from considering other points of view, the more you’re liable to break. As Lao-tzu reminds us, “The hard and stiff will be broken,” while “the soft and supple will prevail.” Our minds and our bodies need flexibility to thrive. When we see ourselves as flexible and supple, we are able to bend in harmony with our Divine source. By listening, yielding, and being gentle, we all become disciples of life.

|2011-10-12 09:15:00|1||The Wayne Dyer Blog|dr_wayne_w_dyer|0|wayne dyer,tao te ching,lao-tzu,flexibility,wisdom,harmony,divine source Say What You Mean|

Hope for perpetual guilt-givers.

|

I grew up in a family where the women had Ph.D.’s in perpetual guilt-giving. My grandmother could be heard sighing for miles. Sometimes it would go on for hours. It was her way of showing how unhappy she was about something she did for the family that went unacknowledged or unappreciated. Every time I asked my grandmother why she was sighing, she would reply, “I suffer.” It took me years to realize that she was incapable of making herself heard in a way that was not dysfunctional.

My mother exhibited a different behavior. She would simply stop talking until we resorted to severe begging to get her to tell us what offense we might have committed. I not only inherited some of these behaviors, but I also came up with my own. I was exceptional at pouting. When someone displeased me, I would sit in a chair with a look of complete despair. This technique takes patience because someone has to notice that you’re unhappy. Then they have to embark on a major inquisition to get you to reveal your angst. Sometimes they were brave enough to ask, What’s wrong? Are you okay? Then my classic response would be, “If you loved me you’d know.”

Over the years I learned that trying to impose guilt on family, friends or co-workers is merely another way of trying to manipulate people. We develop these behaviors by unconsciously imitating our family origin. It’s unfortunate that becoming proficient in communication skills is not a top priority for us as a society. We spend so much time not saying what we mean and not meaning what we say. The energy we spend on this kind of irrational dialogue is exhausting. It also creates a lot of unhappiness for all concerned.

Lighten Up Your Week:

Why not spend a little time becoming more aware of what you’re saying and how it’s interpreted by those around you. Call a trusted friend and ask her/him if you are a perpetual guilt-giver. It takes courage to become more evolved beings, but the end result can make all your relationships healthier, happier and more fruitful.

|2011-10-14 10:15:00|1||Lighten Up with Loretta LaRoche|loretta_laroche|0|loretta laroche,guilt,relationships,suffering,family,manipulation,communication,communication skills,guilt trip Find Your Peace|

A meditation for inner harmony.

|

Let’s say this meditation together today…

I am in charge of my own being. I guard my inner world for it is there that I create. I do whatever I need to do to keep my inner world peaceful. My inner peace is essential for my health and well being.

I go within and find that space where all is quiet and serene. I may see it as a peaceful, deep quiet pool surrounded by green grass and tall, silent trees. I may feel it as white, billowy clouds upon which to lay and be caressed.  I may hear it as flowing, delightful music soothing my senses. However I choose to experience my inner space, I find peace.

At this center of peace, I am. I am the pureness and stillness of the center of my creative process. In peace I create. In peace, I love and move and experience life. Because I keep myself centered in inner peace, I have peace in my outer world.

Though others may have discord and chaos, it touches me not for I declare peace for myself. Though there may be madness all around me, I am calm and peaceful. The Universe is one of great order and peacefulness, and I reflect this in my every moment of life. The stars and the planets do not need to be worried or fearful in order to maintain their heavenly orbits. Nor does chaotic thinking contribute to my peaceful existence in life. I choose to express peacefulness, for I am peace. And so it is.

Let’s affirm: When I find peace within, I create a peaceful world around me.

|2011-10-19 10:00:00|1|public://imports/2313.jpg|The Louise Hay Blog|louise_l_hay|0|louise hay,inner peace,inner space,creativity,peacefulness Take a Stand for YOU|

The possibilities are endless.

|

I recently read a blog by Seth Godin that said:

Just imagine how much you'd get done if you stopped actively sabotaging your own work.

We must be talented, powerful and resilient creatures indeed given how much we manage to produce despite the constant undercutting, ridicule and needless censorship we aim at ourselves.

I like Seth's blog and his entry got me thinking...

Imagine how resourceful, creative, loving and powerful you must be to live the life you're living right now while under the constant scrutiny and judgment of a harsh inner critic.  

Then...

Imagine how much more you could be and do if you learned to become your own best cheerleader?

The possibilities are endless....

Take Action Challenge

To become your own best cheerleader, start with three simple steps:

  1. Every morning when you wake up, welcome yourself to the day by saying: I am so excited to be sharing this day with you!
  2. Repeat the affirmation above a minimum of 20 times during the course of the day.
  3. Catch yourself being mean to yourself and use that moment as a trigger to say: Whoa, you are an amazing human being and I will stand by you no matter what!  Repeat this step as necessary.
|2011-10-21 09:30:00|1||The Cheryl Richardson Blog|cheryl_richardson|0|cheryl richardson,seth godin,self-sabotage,self-esteem,productivity,creativity,affirmations,cheerleader,censorship,possibility Menopause, Relationships, and the Holidays|

Menopause, Relationships, and the Holidays

|

The holidays are a crucible for relationship meltdowns. Loved ones with differing expectations, familial patterns, and needs get together to create a “Hallmark moment.” Even in the best of circumstances, this can be a set up for dysfunction and stress. At midlife, it can be even tougher. I wrote about this in the newly revised edition of The Wisdom of Menopause, which will be available in January 2012.

“It is no secret that relationship crises are a common side effect of menopause. Usually this is attributed to the crazy-making effects of the hormonal shifts occurring in a woman’s body at this time of transition. What is rarely acknowledged or understood is that as these hormone-driven changes affect the brain, they give a woman a sharper eye for inequity and injustice, and a voice that insists on speaking up about them. In other words, they uncover hidden wisdom—and the courage to voice it. As the vision-obscuring veil created by the hormones of reproduction begins to lift, a woman’s youthful fire and spirit are often rekindled, together with long-sublimated desires and creative drives. Midlife fuels those drives with a volcanic energy that demands an outlet.

“If it does not find an outlet—if the woman remains silent for the sake of keeping the peace at home or work, or if she holds herself back from pursuing her creative urges and desires—the result is equivalent to plugging the vent on a pressure cooker: Something has to give. Very often what gives is the woman’s health, and the result will be one or more of the “big three” diseases of postmenopausal women: heart disease, depression, and breast cancer. On the other hand, for those of us who choose to honor the body’s wisdom and to express what lies within us, it’s a good idea to get ready for some boat rocking, which may put long-established relationships in upheaval. Marriage is not immune to this effect.”

And neither are your relationships with other family members.

Your family and friends are bound to respond differently to you as you grow and change. When it comes to these dynamics, change makes people uncomfortable—how will your newly adopted lifestyle affect them? Even changing your hairstyle is enough to stir the pot, sometimes.

So what can you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. See it for the Petri dish it is. Expect resistance!
  2. Remind yourself that it’s OK not to be the good girl who sees to everyone’s needs except her own. This goes for any pattern you’re trying to break.
  3. As you end or update some relationships, you may feel a little sad. That’s OK. Grieve and let go. By doing so, you’ll be protecting your health for years to come.
  4. Laugh. Bringing humor into a situation almost always eases tension.
  5. Distance yourself—even if it means skipping the traditional family get together—so you don’t become emotional or stressed by others’ behavior.

I would love to hear about how you’ve established new boundaries as you have grown through the years. Please leave a comment below! Note: Comments are not posted immediately, but often show up in 24 hours or less.

|2011-11-01 00:15:00|1||The Christiane Northrup Blog|dr_christiane_northrup|0|wisdom of menopause,menopause,relationships,heart health,midlife,holidays Let’s Hear It for The Girls|

Self-care tips for breast health.

|

Our task as women is to learn, minute by minute, to respect ourselves and our bodies. Whether our breasts are small or large, perky or droopy, whether we have implants or lumps, or have had a mastectomy, all of “the girls” are wonderful. Our breasts are a source of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others, and should be seen as such!

You can improve your breast health almost immediately with these self-care practices:

When you touch your breasts, do so with respect and caring. Be grateful they are part of your body. That means if you do a monthly breast self-exam, do NOT do it with a search-and-destroy mentality. This isn’t a military exercise whose purpose is finding and killing an enemy!

Instead thank your breasts, chest, and heart area for being a part of your body as you lovingly touch these parts of yourself. Pay special attention to the area up under the armpit where all the lymph nodes are. Massaging this area will assist in ridding your body of toxins, while increasing blood flow and life energy!

Open yourself to receiving help, nourishment, and compassion from self 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, and then letting go. Make a clean breast of it.

Minimize the time you wear your bra every day. Don’t wear a bra to bed. The lymph channels around your breasts and in your armpits need to flow freely. Tight bras shut off this lymph flow, making it much harder for your body to detoxify breast tissue.

Sweat it out. Regular exercise is medicine for your breasts. It helps detoxify your body and also helps decrease the amount of estrogen that affects your breasts. Women who exercise regularly have a 30 percent decreased risk for breast cancer.

Eat a low-glycemic diet. High blood sugar, which occurs when you eat a high-glycemic diet instead, results in high insulin levels. A high-glycemic diet is a well-documented risk factor for breast disease.

Many holistically oriented healthcare practitioners utilize hormone profiles (which can be done by Genova Diagnostics) that measure how well you are metabolizing estrogen—and into what kind of end products. Some metabolites of estrogen are harmful to breast tissue and some aren’t.

Supplement! Take a comprehensive multivitamin/mineral supplement that is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, E, B-complex, D, beta-carotene is a must. (This means at least four pills per day.) Antioxidants help the cells in your breasts fight cellular inflammation, which can be a precursor to breast cancer.

Get plenty of vitamin D. Studies show that women with optimal levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of breast cancer. Your vitamin D level should be at least 40 ng/ml. If it’s not, talk with your doctor and come up with the best strategy for raising your levels of this important nutrient. Be prepared to take up to 50,000 IUs per week until your levels are high enough and then 1,000–5,000 IUs per day after that.

Finally, give yourself the gift of forgiveness. 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, or didn’t clean up. I forgive you for not keeping a promise to yourself or someone else. I forgive you for being human and for not being able to make everyone 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.”

This forgiveness extends to what you have or haven’t done for your health in the past. If you wish you had done things differently, that’s OK! Every day is a new day, and the perfect day to start practicing prevention. 

 

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

Share Your Thoughts Below