Column: It's My Health!
Restoring Breast Health
by Gerald Lopez, LLB; Dip.Ayurvedic Medicine
Breast Cancer Week came around again recently, and there was the usual talk of early detection and of finding the "cure", but no mention of preventing the dreaded epidemic I still don't understand the logic of focusing on what to do with the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Eat foods with vital colors the bright greens of broccoli and avocados, the bright reds of tomatoes and strawberries, the sunny colours of lemons and pomegranates, the purples of grapes and blackberries. These and many other vegetables and fruits are chock-full of antioxidants and proven anti-cancer agents.
The rich colors of spices are similar signals of health-giving nutrients and digestive stimulants. According to Ayurveda, strengthening the digestion with spices helps eliminate toxins and optimises absorption of food nutrients. Turmeric and ginger are known anti-cancer spices.
What you apply on your body goes into your body. Would you eat your detergents, lipstick and skin creams? If not, think twice about applying them. Breast tissue has been found to store many cancer-causing substances found in detergents and skincare.
Use products which are as natural as possible and use the least possible. Allow your skin to breathe it is a major organ of elimination.
Regularly soak your bare skin in early morning sunshine, just for 15-20 minutes. Research has found that vitamin D and calcium can significantly reduce cancer risk. What is the cheapest and best source of vitamin D? Sunshine! Plus, it reduces stress and improves mood further strengthening the immune system.
Relaxation for breast health
Chronic stress is known to disrupt the immune system the healthy functioning of which is the key to preventing cancer. My dear women, whether you are mothers or career people, you owe it to yourselves and your loved ones to take time out to relax. Relaxation is the body's most powerful healing mechanism.
Yoga postures and breathing, done with awareness, are among the most effective methods of relaxation known they have been tried and tested over thousands of years. Adopt a daily personal practice, and you will reap many benefits.
Lymph forms part of the body's immune and waste-disposal system and the breasts are surrounded by lymph tissue. Tight bras restrict breathing and deep breathing is the lymphatic system's main pump.
Regularly allow the breasts "breathing space" by spending time without a bra. Practice movements like yogic Sun Salutations, emphasising deep in and out breaths. Women with larger breasts can perform more gentle movements.
Another way to move lymph and increase circulation is to get regularly massaged, or perform self-massage as part of your daily routine. When having it done for you, ask for the breast area and underarms to be gently massaged.
Breast self-massage is a much more positive, enjoyable and loving act than anxiety-inducing breast "self-examination". Use a nourishing oil like warming sesame or cooling coconut depending on your body type (see previous article).
Recovering our lost treasure
Just last week, I asked the foremost female writer and authority on Ayurveda, Swamini Mayatitananda (formerly Maya Tiwari), what she felt was the essence of breast health Her message, specially for this ezine article, is this:
“ Over thousands of years we have lost touch with nurturing Mother energy and consciousness. This has resulted in wars, pollution and disrespect for our bodies and for each other.
Breast cancer is a product of that disconnection. Women as well as men need to reconnect with the archetypal, primal Mother consciousness.
Awareness is the key, self-awareness gained by pausing our obsessive Doing, and practising the state of Being. ”
The breasts are more than private organs to be stowed away for the most part of the day They are profoundly symbolic organs of femininity and nurturing motherhood. To men, they create a strange longing, superficially interpreted as sexual attraction. But I believe it is a longing for something deeper than this perhaps the longing for the return of Mother consciousness on Earth.
Beloved women, may you care for yourselves and stay eternally healthy, and may we share in the return of a nurturing consciousness.
In the next issue we will look at spices and their amazing healthgiving properties.
* Read Swamini Mayatitananda's latest book, Women's Power to Heal, available from Amazon.com
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