Keeping your breasts healthy
October is breast awareness month.
As a medical herbalist, I like to go down the route of keeping healthy first with the aim of preventing health issues and then rebalancing the body, mind and spirit to bring about healing if issues arise.
This why I like Dr Christiane Northrup’s advice on keeping breasts healthy for life because she takes a holistic approach. Dr Northrup suggests the first step is nurturing yourself and to do this we must learn how to receive and practice self care and self love – which by the way, many of us, especially women find hard to do. Here is her advice.
Dr Northrup’s advice to how to receive
Hold an intention to connect with your higher power and to be open to receiving whatever you are meant to receive. You don’t have to be religious. Don’t be afraid to ask your higher power for guidance.
Release your expectations of what will happen when you do step 1.
Wait for a response. Be open to noticing any changes in patterns in your life that relate to your original intention. Those changes may be something subtle, something physical in your body, or you may receive an overt sign.
Dr Northrup’s advice for 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.
My self care advice
Every Sunday I post wellbeing information on my social media pages that you can use to create your own self care practices. Many end up as blogs on this site. Look back on these for ideas.
Facebook: Enhance one and Ilkley Complementary Therapies
Linked in: Julia Richards
Other suggestions for breast health
I wrote the tips below in my blog last year and these also align with advice from Dr Northrups 2021 tips.
This means quantity (6.5-8 hrs) and quality. See the sleep notes from the successful Sleep workshop I ran with my colleagues at Ilkley Complementary Therapies. I wrote these up for Viva70 Magazine.
Get regular moderate exercise
Exercise reduces your risk of disease. This can simply be a walk or dancing in your kitchen. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of any form of exercise.
Consider what you eat
You know the drill: limit processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, bad fats, alcohol and caffeine. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, good fats (avocado, nuts/seed, oily fish) and lean protein. See some tips from Dr Hyman’s Pegan diet here.
Specifically for healthy breast tissue include daily:
One cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale) as the Sulforaphane produced in the body after you eat these has been shown to reduce the effect that carcinogens have on the body and the progression of cancer cells.
An omega 3 source (wild-caught salmon, omega-3-rich eggs and ground flax seeds) as the anti inflammatory properties reduce cancer risk. You can take a good quality fish oil with 1000 mg of DHA and EPA per day.
A probiotic (yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh) to keep the bacteria in your body balanced positively because imbalances can affect the way the body metabolises estrogen and toxins. You can also take a good probiotic supplement.
Get adequate Vitamin D
Studies show it can reduce the risk of breast and other cancers. Get some sun on your skin for at least 15 minutes s a day. Food sources include oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), red meat, liver, egg yolks and full fat dairy. Most people need a supplement of 5,000 to 10,000 international units per day. Look for D3 as this is the form your body naturally produces when it’s exposed to sunlight.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer.
Have a fulfilling social life
This improves your immune system which in turn kills off pathogens and rogue cells (these can lead to cancer and auto immune diseases). So, interact with more people who like what you like by volunteering for a cause you’re interested in or take up a new activity. Remember to meet with friends and family loved ones regularly. Get some dates in your diary.
Perform Self massage
This is part of self care. See my Facebook post from 4 Oct 2020 on how to perform self massage. Specially for breasts, give them a massage for 5 minutes per day (when you shower is a good regular way to incorporate this). Also, go bra less as much as possible to stimulate lymph flow, which releases toxins from breast tissue.
Over to you
Which tips do you want to add into your daily life to get healthy or stay healthy?
Is there anything you'd like to remove from your daily life for health reasons?
Implement your plan and get support from a health practitioner, family and friends.
Always seek qualified practitioners before taking any supplements or changing your diet and check with your doctor for any interactions with current medications.
In addition, if you are adding a new exercise to your life, check that this is suitable for your current health condition.