Years ago I had a client who used to be a Teacher before he stepped into the Oil Industry to become involved in Training. He claims he made the shift partly because he was tired of teenage students coming on to him. The difference in the pay cheques also played a part. Each week he took timeout to visit my humble abode to lie on the massage table and offload his stress. We hit it off from the start, and realizing that our birthdays were a few days apart added more impetus. Eventually the visits were less about the stress at work and more about us bonding…the conversation, the satisfaction of being heard without having to say the same thing ten times in ten different ways to be understood. He was also assessing me for some kind of …ship. I was not keen on that because while he was a man any woman would want to settle down with, he was a perfectionist of the worst kind, but I allowed the visits anyway because he paid for his time whether we did a massage or sat talking the time away. It was Therapy.
Soon enough the conversation was about breasts. My breasts. He wanted to know if I ever had them examined. I was amused. No, I never did. He offered to guide me through the process. I was even more amused. He was not. He admitted that it would give him pleasure to participate in the process, but that that should not take away importance of getting the exam done. I never felt the need to do breast examinations, which is why as at that day such was not done. I agreed in principle, but declined the offer of help. He suggested that I perform it while he verbally guided me through. Thanks, but no thanks. It took a few more visits before he intimated why the health of my breasts was important to him. He had lost a few relatives, including his mother, aunt, and sister, to Breast Cancer. So while I had obtained favourable consideration for lacking the clingy attitude of many women (which he finds intolerable), and having children (which meant we did not have to produce any given the Cancer in his genes might show up in theirs), he needed to get me to develop and maintain awareness of Breast Cancer because he was not about to have me then lose me in some long painful battle. Touching.
Breasts examination has come to be associated with Breast Cancer, and there is the feeling that if you are looking for something, you will find it, so don’t look. On the other hand, if something is there and our heads are buried in the sand, it will still be there when we take our heads out. Maybe it would be helpful if we start out with pleasant thoughts about our breasts, and show them love. Massage is a good way to do that. We tend to pamper our face, hands and feet, but we are few in number who pamper our breasts. Today is a good day to begin. Whether in the bath lathered with soap, standing before the mirror or lying in bed with oil/lotion in hand, gentle circles could be made around the breasts. It is okay to acknowledge the sensual under/overtones. The stimulation will bring fresh blood which contains oxygen and nutrients to the area. The increased levels of oxygen will aid in the fight against cancerous cells. Simply put, oxygen kills Cancer cells.
We are often told that Massage improves blood circulation, but quite often women who indulge in massages do not have their breasts done. Fewer still are aware that the Circulatory System has a secondary aspect known as the Lymphatic System. If massage improves blood circulation, then massage simultaneously improves lymph flow. The Lymphatic System is credited with destroying and removing waste, dead blood cells, toxins, Cancer cell, etc. which in turn facilitates a boost in our immune system. The flow of lymph is facilitated by an intricate network of vessels, nodes, and glands. However, unlike the blood, the lymph has no heart to pump it, so it moves slowly in an upward direction to be recycled at strategically located nodes then to reenter the blood stream in the subclavian veins on either side of the neck. If we were to imagine this, it would be like internal garbage moving in Congo-lines on oneway streets from the toes to the neck. The nodes are always ready to battle with any harmful organism entering them. In cases where they are unsuccessful, the lymph node becomes swollen. But that does not stop the flow, and the pathogens that pass unfiltered climb even higher.
The breasts are in the thoracic area where everything eventually clamours before the final cleansing and reentry into the subclavian veins. The thoracic nodes and mediastinal glands work overtime to clear the debris. They are aided by the axillary nodes in the armpits, the pectoral ones in the breasts, etc. Despite the militancy of the Lymphatic System, pathogens can still get away. And what better place to hide than in the breasts? So the least we can do to preserve the health of our breasts is to perform gentle massages around them…avoiding the areola/nipple. We can try placing our palms on the ribcage just under the breasts, glide the hands slowly forward to allow the fingers to meet at the sternum, then let them travel up between the breast to the clavicle/collar bone. From this point we can pull our fingers towards the armpits, then flick the wrists and let the hands come around the sides and under the breast again. Keep the circle continuous. A good count would be 36 times once per day, then graduate to twice per day…according to the Chinese.
There might be some initial discomfort in the wrists, but it is worth the effort. Please note that massage might be contraindicated as some types of Cancer can use the Lymphatic System to travel from one point of the body to another. Check with your Doctor to see if it is good for you. For the rest of us, massage is a good way for us to love our breasts. It is preventative maintenance as we encourage the inflow of fresh blood and the outflow of waste. The choice to massage is a choice take the frontline position in the battle against Cancer. We are not fighting with medication which produces its own waste, but we are fighting with increased levels of oxygen. Naturally.
COMMENT: by Mellow365
Hi. It’s interesting how your mind play tricks on you when you are constantly exposed to certain things. I’m an Operating Theatre Registered Nurse so I’ve seen mastectomies with axillary clearance done for patients diagnosed with breast cancer too regularly for all I care, that I think at times I suffer from compassionate fatigue. Women never come to terms with losing their breasts and not enough time is given to them to make that decision because, most times, they’re diagnosed so late, that the only offered treatment is to amputate the breasts. The ages range from as young as 33 years and I think therein lies my concern because I’m 35 and I have a family history as my mother died from breast cancer and my father from prostate.
About 2 months ago I had excruciating pains in my right breast that I couldn’t even lift my arms, bathe properly, dress myself or travel without being angry at the driver for being so inconsiderate towards me (as if he knew what was going on lol). If the pain was associated with PMS fine, but to have it from one cycle into the next, I GOT BOMBY!!!!
My husband was tired and fed up of seeing me in pain so he successfully convinced me to have it checked out. I think almost everyone goes through that phase where they are too scared to discover or to confirm that something is wrong or not. At work that week, I saw a surgeon with whom I was familiar with and reluctantly voiced my complaints. when I got to talking he realized that I was anxious and he said, “Slow down, I know that you are concerned that it may be breast cancer but do just 2 tests, an ultrasound and a mammogram and then we’ll see where it takes us. No sense worrying if you don’t know right?” I agreed and went to make the appointments.
I must admit, between the date of making the appointment and the date of the test itself I must have done 100 breast self examinations searching for what I don’t know, all this time thinking about how my mother died and all those mastectomies I’ve seen and assisted with. The battle field is really in the mind.
Just before the ultrasound date I decided that all this worrying was wearing me out and it wasn’t easing the pain anyway so I might as well stop it. And I did. In the bathroom that same night when I lathered my body, I focused on my breasts, rubbing it and going in the same directions as I would during the self examination and after all I was in a Massage Therapy class. I didn’t know anything about MLD but my intention was to get some relief. Its like you always say, we are intuitive healers, and my God I didn’t even realize that I was doing something positive until a few days before the ultrasound. The pain was gone and I went about doing my normal activities and had the test done. The report came back and there was nothing there. Whoopee!!! Didn’t even bother to do the mammogram, I thought the radiation to do it was a risk factor in itself.
That’s my story about breasts, my breasts, and I’ve realized that I need to shed and regroup on a timely basis so that I can see clearly for my own well-being and that of others. Most times when surgeons get into difficulties my first response is to call on Jesus and sometimes I find myself wanting to scrub in for the tougher cases so that I can be at the patient’s side, which I deem a strategic place. It’s demanding work but I love doing it. Massage is helping me to see what really matters in life. THANKS RINALDA RIGHT ON TIME!!!!