When I was little and saw my mother come home from work, I was amazed at how she would unclip her bra, take out one strap through one sleeve and whip out the entire from the other sleeve. I’d look up at her in admiration and think, “I want to be a ninja too.”
Problem was, when I got older, despite the relief I had once I freed the nipples, my breasts would ache.
In fact I’ve experienced breast pain so intense that I’d want to hold them as I ran for the bus. Later when I discovered a lump in my breast, I was up many a night until my ultrasound appointment that revealed that I had fibrocystic breasts.
Given that women often go to the doctor asking,
“Why are my breasts sore?”
And that 50-60% of women will experience fibrocystic changes to their breasts, I felt that a video on this topic was a must.
But first, let’s talk about why you need to touch your breasts.
It is my opinion that women today are so incredibly disconnected with their bodies. I get it, I used to be too – running on autopilot, thinking with my head (the noise), versus tuning in to feeling with my body (the voice). It doesn’t help that we’ve culturally inherited an over sexualized view of our breasts, from Barbie dolls to music videos of sky-clad women dancing as it rains money around them and the expensive cars they parade around… so of course we would have a disconnection with them!
Add on the notion that “self-breast exams aren’t needed because they just create a false sense of fear”, and you have more women disconnecting from the organ which represents giving and receiving.
If you’re anything like the thousands of women I’ve worked with you give at the expense of yourself. From a spiritual perspective, the energy of your breasts are now left unbalanced as you’re not allowing for the space to receive. Please note my careful use of the word “allowing”, because it is up to you to take responsibility for what you have allowed to happen in your life. Only until you do that, can you set the stage for boundaries and more importantly, asking for help.
Now because I only have a short window of time to do a video before y’all tune out (because you’re busy right?)…
I thought I’d provide you with a video on self-breast exams that inspired me to produce my newsletter video.
The best time to give yourself a breast exam is a couple days after your period has ended. Make sure when you re-examine yourself that you do it at the same time every month. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t touch and examine yourself at other times of the month, but note that there will be changes to the breasts at various parts of the month – particularly around your cycle.
So why do we experience breast pain and/or develop fibrocystic breasts?
Please note that why YOU get breast pain or experience fibrocystic breasts is individualized to YOU. I always get asked, “How long will it take until this goes away?“, and my answer: it depends on your case and your level of commitment, and remember, it isn’t just about popping a pill (more on that in a bit)!
In the meantime, here are several reason why you may be experiencing breast pain:
Given that the liver has over 560 functions, and that 90 million Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, it’s no surprise why liver congestion can occur. In Chinese Medicine the liver meridian actually opens up to the breasts, so if there’s liver congestion (aka stagnation), you’ll experience breast pain or even lumps in the breasts.
Foods like excess complex carbohydrates (think breads, pasta and rice) congest the liver. Alcohol (no surprise here) also congests the liver. Pretty much anything that breaks down into sugar congests the liver. This isn’t to say it’s all bad! But when you’re eating a high complex carb diet and washing it down with vino and ending it with a cupcake, you’re asking for trouble. This spike to our blood sugar will leave us feeling irritable and the stress further impacts your liver preventing it from properly detoxifying.
So what can you do?
Swap out some of that starchy goodness you love so much with vegetables (yo’ mama was right when she told you to eat yo’ greens!) and up your water intake because dehydration is no bueno for that hard working liver of yours.
I realize that the term, “excess estrogen” gets thrown around a lot, but it’s only telling a part of the story. In Sexy Lady Balls (my hormone membership program) we offer members the opportunity to upgrade and test their hormones. When we do so using urine testing, unlike blood and saliva tests, I’m able to see their hormone metabolites, and this matters.
Frankly, if you’re anything like me, your estrogens (estrone, estradiol and estriol) may all be low, but their metabolites could be elevated. Through blood I would never be able to tell that they were elevated, leaving me undiagnosed.
Through understanding the metabolites, and your methylation activity (which plays a role in liver detoxification), I’m able to assess what part of your liver detoxification is sluggish (there’s two phases by the way). Elevated estrogen and/or their metabolites can tell the body to grow, leaving with you with lumpy breasts.
So what can be done?
As I always say – test, don’t guess, because the amount of women I see on Vitex or DIM without ever getting an understanding about their hormones is absolutely insane. At that point, you’re spending more money trying to figure it out through symptoms alone.
In the meantime, reduce your exposure to plastic and increase your fibre to make sure you’re pooping (because those estrogens need to go somewhere).
The two areas of the body that are supposed to be most rich in iodine is your thyroid and your breasts and an iodine deficiency can lead to lumpy breasts. Iodine actually decreases the ability of estrogen to adhere to estrogen receptors in the breast. An easy way to get it in your diet is through sea vegetables regularly. I love adding in kelp or even kelp granules (so you can hide the suckers!) is a great way to increase your iodine. Not to mention, sea vegetables also helps to reduce the gaseousness of bean dishes.
Another option to get iodine safely into your body is by applying iodine tincture onto your skin.
In this week’s video, I show how you can do this with Lugol iodine which you can get off of Amazon. If the brown stain fades in 24 hours or less, it indicates that you don’t have enough iodine in your system. Apply as often as you notice that the iodine has been absorbed and your skin is clear, rating areas of application each time. If absorption occurs in two hours, re-apply then. If it occurs in four to six hours, re-apply then. If the stain clears at the 24 hour mark, then continue the application once a day until the stain is apparent after 24 hours.
Who should not be taking iodine
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, iodine can make it worse. It’s important before taking any supplementation to please check with a qualified practitioner to evaluate your case.
I know that one-cup-a-day’ers out there are screaming, but if you’re experiencing breast pain it’s important to get off the java because it can make it worse – Increase your water and introduce matcha lattes instead. Matcha does have caffeine in it, but without the jolt to the nervous system. It’s rich in L-theanine, which puts the brain in the same alpha waves as monks when they meditate.
Other things you can do to avoid breast pain…
Seriously if you don’t have to wear one, please try not to. Sports bras are also better than underwires and I would highly suggest free’ing the girls in the evening when you go to bed too. Underwires cuts off circulation of both blood and lymph fluid around the breast, chest wall and surrounding tissue.
Ask for help and accept support!
The common thread that I see with women is that they just don’t ask for help. If you find yourself doing ‘all the things’, then you can’t expect your hormones to balance out. Cortisol, the hormone that is excreted in response to stress, will begin to consume your sex hormones when elevated, namely progesterone. Without progesterone to anchor estrogen, you’ve got a recipe for disaster for your breasts.
DIY Breast Balm
This Balm Recipe is great to rub on your breasts to increase circulation and reduce inflammation. Here’s how to make it…
- 2 TBSP beeswax pellets
- 1 TBSP shea butter
- 2 tsp black seed oil (cancer prevention)
- 3/4 cup sweet almond oil
- 7 drops ginger essential oil
- 7 drops thyme essential oil
- 7 drops chamomile essential oil
- Add all ingredients except for the essential oils in a large heat-safe measuring up.
- Place measuring cup in a pot of water and turn stove on to medium low.
- Melt ingredients down and remove from stove and let cool.
- Once somewhat cool, add in essential oils and add into a small class container.