Breasts change throughout life; our breasts undergo many phases, not just during the month, but over the course of our lifetime.
During the menstrual cycle, glandular tissue in both the breasts and uterus change due to the effect of hormones. For many women, and especially women with fibrocystic breasts, this creates breast swelling, tenderness, soreness and even pain. Self-breast massage during PMS eases breast swelling, congestion and discomfort, especially when using an anti-inflammatory breast massage oil. Take Cheryl Chapman’s 3 month twice daily breast massage challenge, especially if you have fibrocystic breasts, and experience for yourself how good it feels to have pain-free pliable breast tissue!
Dietary habits influence breast swelling as well–often due to the effect diet has on hormone levels. High mineral foods like herbal preparations and dark leafy greens and organically sourced animal fats such as butter, cream, eggs and other cholesterol rich foods are the dietary tickets to stabilizing hormone levels. Been raised on the idea that cholesterol and fats are bad for your health? That is a corporate myth propagated in the 1940′s to promote commodity agricultural goods like vegetable oil, wheat and soy.
Fat and cholesterol are needed for healthy immunity, fertility and normalization of hormonal cycles (note: organic food sourcing is key). The above documentary “Fat Head” says it all. Learn what a truly healthy diet includes. Internet search terms such as “Sally Fallon,” “Weston A. Price,” and “Nourishing Traditions” will also help you.
During pregnancy and lactation, breasts increase in size, tenderness and firmness. Lactation is a perfect time for breast massage, to ease and support milk flow and reduce discomfort. Moms who are concerned about having enough breast milk: before baby arrives, make yourself plenty of deeply nutritious homemade baby formula, with quality organic ingredients. It’s the only formula we know of that truly nourishes like real breast milk (unlike any commercial baby formula). Get the recipe and info here: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula. Doing so will promote peace of mind, encouraging your own milk flow. (Note: by providing a more healthy alternative to commercial formulas, we are not discouraging breastfeeding. Make no mistake: the best food for baby is breastmilk from a healthy mother. But if for some reason breast milk is not available or plentiful enough, we feel babies deserve something better than commercial formula).
Use groovy booby freely during pregnancy, but while breast feeding, we do not recommend the use of groovy booby because it contains essential oils, which may confuse babies sense of taste and smell. Instead, use our sister product Breast Friend. Same ingredients as groovy booby without any essential oils (just a touch of vitamin E added).
Around menopause, breasts become less glandular and more fatty. Breast massage as a daily health practice during menopause will protect you by keeping breast immunity at its peak. While breast massage is good for women at any age, women start to think more about breast cancer as they get older as breast cancer risk tends to go up as we age. After menopause, breasts decrease in fatty tissue. Breast massage after menopause, in addition to healthy lifestyle practices, keeps breast lymph fluids moving during a time when we typically become a bit more dehydrated and less physically active. Our lymph flow can generally benefit from more assistance at this time in life.
Some women have more dense breasts than others. Dense, lumpy breasts can make self-breast exam confusing. Estrogen supplements after menopause can cause continued lumpiness. The most common cause of breast lumps in women ages 35-50 is “ANDI” or Aberrations of Normal Development and Involution a.k.a. Fibrocystic Breast Disease. More of a condition rather than disease, this accounts for 80% of all breast operations. It is caused by the mammary glands, ducts and connective tissues reacting to abnormal hormone levels in the body.
We think abnormal hormone levels in this day and age are related to the an unimaginable quantity of hormone mimicking chemicals in our environment (our food, food packaging, clothes, furniture, household products, you name it). This is complicated by the fact that many 21st century women avoid eating fats, ironically for the sake of good health. High quality fats like organic butter, sour cream, coconut oil, flax oil, avocados, fish oil and the like are superbly necessary to women’s health. Our hormones are made from fats and cholesterol in the liver. Since we are bombarded with hormonally disruptive chemicals, i.e., estrogen mimicking molecules that bind to our natural cellular estrogen receptor sites (think plastics leaching into our bodies due to everything from synthetic clothing to food packaging and water bottles, products such as nail polish remover and non-organic cleaners, industrial petroleum chemicals that have made their way into our soil and water). It is easy to see how many hormone imbalancing influences exist for us today. Stress and the resulting hormonal cocktail as our minds and bodies respond are also a significant cellular DNA disruptor.What do to? Go organic, buy vintage which doesn’t outgas like brand new items, stick to cotton, wool and silk, get rid of plastic utensils, dishes, food and beverage containers. Think plant-based soaps and lotions in glass or paper containers.
Fibrocystic breast disease usually disappears after menopause, and generally does not progress to a cancer level. Symptoms are lumpy, hard, sore, tender and painful breasts.
Breast massage is ideal for women with fibrocystic breasts. Massage helps soften breasts, stimulate lymph flow, and reduce pain and discomfort. Going bra-less when possible also helps. We invite you to take Cheryl Chapman’s breast massage challenge: massage your breasts twice a day for three months (especially with a nourishing herbal breast care oil). If your breasts are especially painful, begin gently and progress toward a more thorough massage. Women who have taken her challenge have reported nearly complete softening of their breasts and relief from pain and discomfort. Using an all natural herbal oil like groovy booby will not only enhance your breast massage experience, the anti-inflammatory properties of each and every ingredient offer wonderful healing qualities that absorb quickly into breast tissue.
Below is a beautiful example of women who have taken breast massage seriously for the treatment of their fibrocystic breast conditions.