Now that October is out of way, I feel like getting my irritations, literally, off my chest. Since when has it become acceptable to make my Breasts (and the propagation of the fear of breast cancer), an excuse for marketing experts to boost corporate sales?
Don’t get me wrong; I hope we do find a cure for all cancer related diseases, but somehow I feel all the fear-based focus seems to concentrate our thoughts on the topic, beyond that which is necessary, or even useful.
These days in our society, the breasts seem to have an importance beyond that of their primordial function, which is to feed and nurture our infants. They are considered to be a symbol of femininity and sexual attractiveness, provide us (and our partners) with sensual pleasure (particularly as we age) and therefore are a very important part of our bodies.
For many of us, the amount of confidence we have in ourselves is sadly related to our external appearance. The breasts constitute an essential element in a woman’s beauty and their health is an essential part of our women’s wisdom, reminding us that we have created a nurturing balance between others and ourselves. The breasts are, after the buttocks and the legs, the part of a woman’s body that we tend to be least satisfied with and therefore is one of the areas we would most like to change. The rise in the acceptance of cosmetic surgery in this area also illustrates that disharmony and lack of self-acceptance. Ask any woman how she feels about her breasts and her response will give you a clue as to how she feels about her own femininity. Are they too big? Too small? Too droopy? Uneven??
In recent years it seems as though there has been an enormous increase in the number of problems in this area of our bodies, some more serious than others. Of course the most serious of all is the increase in breast cancer. All the razzmatazz in October every year surrounding ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ has me feeling a little bemused. I came across a pink packaged cake mix the other day in the supermarket. The pink bow on the box offered a pitiful donation to cancer research, whilst at the same time offering us an abundance of E-numbers, sugar, (many studies show that glucose feeds cancer cells1), trans-fats and other unhealthy ingredients. I hate the way cosmetic companies have jumped onto the marketing bandwagon whilst still producing cosmetics full of parabens (a preservative and known oestrogen mimicker). Anti perspirants offering 5p for every ‘limited edition pink can’ sold but not wanting to alter the formulations to remove the Aluminum-based compounds which have been linked to disorders in the breasts2. I hate the way that the brilliant efforts of the cancer research societies have become more about boosting corporate sales and marketing and less about prevention and the real women who are tackling the very unglamorous and treacherous slope of breast cancer recovery.
According to traditional herbal medicine, the majority of disorders in this area are caused by an excess of Yang energy, which is hot in nature and therefore causes an ‘overheating’. There are many theories about what causes this imbalance; including modern lifestyles and the use of artificial hormones (not just from HRT and the Pill, but also hormone additives in poultry, dairy and farm animals). More quantities of poultry are consumed these days than ever before due to our eternal quest for ‘low fat’ foods.
An esoteric look at feminine energy may point to the fact that, in our quest for emancipation, the female sex has replaced some of her Yin, feminine, cool and receptive energy, with the more Yang, masculine, heating energy which is concentrating on the female organs.
Perhaps instead of focusing on the ‘war’ and ‘battle’ against cancer, its time to talk about prevention, encouraging breast health and shifting our focus to lovingly protecting our breasts.
Using aromatherapy in our daily lives can help redress some of these overheating imbalances and also improve the appearance and beauty of this sensitive area without the need for cosmetic surgery. Applying breast oil in our daily routine helps to put us in touch with our femininity and also keeps us feeling for lumps and abnormalities, helping our hormone balance and libido. Essential oils such as Geranium, Clary Sage, Fennel and Rose all have a positive effect on breast health. For many years I have been an advocate of the brand Alqvimia, whose philosophy revolves around the health of women. I would highly recommend their Breast Beauty and Breast Firming Oils.
My other recommendation, which may be controversial, is for us to try to choose thermography over mammography. Thermography is a ‘no risk’ technology that picks up thermal changes in breast tissue. These thermal changes are the precursors for breast tissue anomalies that can become cancerous. Unlike a mammogram, potential problems can be detected up to 10 years earlier. Thermal Imaging records temperature patterns in the breasts which can indicate injury and disease. Unlike a mammogram, a thermogram—a breast exam using thermography—isn’t invasive and is pain free. No one touches or flattens your breasts and there is absolutely no radiation exposure. Results are available instantly and it costs much less than a mammogram (not so relevant in the NHS system, but perhaps women should be made aware of the actual cost and the choices available?).
For a number of years I have been attending a clinic in London with the very excellent Dr. Nyjon Eccles, www.naturaldoctor.org who has made preventative health the focus of his practice.
1 Research debated on www.canceractive.com
2 Darbre PD. Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 2005; 99(9):1912–1919. [PubMed Abstract]