Personal Reflections: The Art of Breast Massage
My gynecologist told me long ago to massage my breasts so I could find lumps and changes in them. I didn’t do it very much, because who wants to find a lump? I would not be honest about it, either—I knew it was important, but the premise created fear, not sacredness of understanding my body. I know many woman feel the same.
My expertise is in feminine health from ancient woman’s cultures. Along the way, my South American teacher taught me a Tibetan breast massage she learned in France during a breast cancer prevention symposium. It shifted my perspective, and now I do it daily when putting on my coconut oil after a shower.
I learned this simple massage with a group of woman in retreat. We sat in a circle and learned to massage our breasts lovingly, to acknowledge them as the symbol of nourishment they are and to connect with our hearts, which are located beneath them. It was not sexual or even sensual, but it was an incredible honoring of my body as we all did it together in sacredness. It shifted how I saw this practice of health tremendously.
Often we lose connection with our breasts as part of ourselves. They are for our lovers or for our children. We have ideal images of woman, breast size and what is beautiful, creating confusion toward loving ourselves as we are. Positive connection with our bodies, let alone our breasts, is rarely taught and is not as common as it was in ancient cultures, where women shared things of womanhood. We have conflicted beliefs about touching our bodies, rather than knowing our bodies intimately in honor, support, care and nourishment. Yet we know the innate power of touch and use it in loving ways to others throughout our day.
I learned that the lymph system that carries toxins and supports normal cleansing has many nodes under our arms and around our chest and breasts. This system doesn’t have a pump like the heart. Movement and massage are the ways we support this detoxifying fluid system of our body. Our heart is also in that area, which is so tied to our emotional nature—women are called the heart-centered side of humanity. Taking time to massage, release and honor on many levels seemed so powerful and practical to me.
Looking at breast massage from this new perspective gave me a deeper understanding of self-love toward my body. I was honoring my heart, my breasts—that whole area of my body that nourishes life in many ways.
Now I am very aware of my breasts from a different perspective and would notice a lump. I don’t think of lumps, though. I massage my breasts because it is an act of loving myself, creating health in my body, supporting the lymph nodes and appreciating that I am a woman, and these are part of my sacred femininity.
I am thankful for this perspective and encourage women to shift their perspectives, as well, and perform this important self-care. I encourage us all to use healing practices that help us understand and love our bodies as the sacred, unique beauties that they are, for there is great practicality in it.
Lyn Hicks is an author, educator, and health and beauty coach at The Room at Meadowbrook, in Ottsville. For more information, call 215-813-4073 or visit LynHicks.com. May 2018