Love is the most overlooked and dismissed medicine and healthcare there is. Yet Love is truly the most powerful. Love transcends health and illness. Loving and being loved brings us peace, whether we are on deaths doorstep or in full recovery.
There is a wellness model that reinforces this notion--it doesn't matter where you are on the continuum of health or disease, it matters which direction you are facing. The direction of Love is the direction of wellness. In turn, Love awakens us and empowers us to make needed change.
In a Love-centered life, a woman is free from measuring her self-worth or basing her identity upon whether or not she has one breast or two. Or none at all. Or breasts that are too_____ (fill in the blank).
There is a great deal of stress and tension women suffer from the obsession with beauty or trying to be"perfect" and healthy. This is an illness in and of itself. Obsessions are motivated by fear, rather than love. Fear tries to sell us the next new remedy or cure at the slightest discomfort. It is rare to find an approach to health care that uses Love, the antidote to fear, which says, "Stop. Be still. Take notice."
That rare approach can be found in Susun Weed's book, Breast Cancer? Breast Health! Weed's advice, when confronted with any health issue, such as a breast lump, is to always begin with step zero. Step zero. Do nothing. This step offers the space and time to go inward...observe...this is the quiet space of Love. This approach centers us, so when we go to the next step and plan our healthcare, we do so more thoughtfully, more lovingly. This heals our inner connection with ourselves, the first step toward true healing.
The Heart-Breast Connection
Our breasts are placed around our heart! Both breast and heart are sources of our deepest nourishment, love and bonding. Each inextricably linked to our sense of connection.
The human heart has an amazing electromagnetic field which extends out into the environment, beyond our bodies physical limits. It mingles with others heart field.
During breast-feeding and holding, an infants heart field is constantly re-synchronizing with the mothers. Consider that heart waves are 60 times greater in amplitude than brain waves, and that the heart develops in-utero long before our brain. Our heart, and its domain of Love, clearly seems to be natures priority.
An Environment of Love
Unlike the natural world, our "civilized" world today doesn't often seem like an environment of trustworthiness, Love or happiness. Just take a sobering look around. It is said the journey toward Love can't be completed without seeing what roadblocks are in the way.
What are the roadblocks on the path of Love when it comes to our cultures attitudes about breasts? Strangely, our culture is plagued with fears and disgust about breast feeding. And study after study show 70% or more of women and girls are unhappy with their breasts. The 2013 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows breast augmentation is still the top cosmetic surgical procedure, and has been since 2006. The women who are happiest with their breasts? Women who are breastfeeding!
We examined the socio-political-economic environment of Breast Cancer Awareness & The Pink Ribbon in our last issue. Being willing to take a honest look at our cultural, societal, familial and personal attitudes helps us see where expressions of Love may be blocked or compromised.
Love is Down To Earth
At The Sustainable Living Film Series, we watched and discussed a health documentary called Hungry For Change. Although it is was film about nutrition, wonderfully, the bottom line at the end of the film was that The Power Love is the ultimate healing force for lasting change. The film went on to scientifically demonstrate how a Love-less attitude obstructs the success of any healthcare regimen. It literally damages our health down to our DNA. Stress and fear biochemically sabotage even our best efforts to become healthier, heal or lose weight.
Oxytocin The Love Hormone vs. Cortisol The Stress Hormone
Most of us know that stress and fear create a secretion of our fight or flight hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These speed up our heart rate and create the hyper-alert state which allows us to rapidly react our way out of perceived danger.
The comfort, trust and intimacy hormone is oxytocin. It has the exact opposite effects of cortisol.
When cortisol levels remain high in our body for long periods of time it begins to breakdown non-essential organs and tissues (like muscle) in order to maintain high levels of glucose in the blood to feed the vital organs. We literally start to cannibalize ourself! As in, "What's eating you?!" Paradoxically, the body puts on fat to protect itself. Modern-day stress levels are making us weaker and fatter. High levels of stress hormones cause high blood pressure, chronic anxiety, weight gain (especially around the waist), depression, weakened immunity, mental and physical fatigue, toxin buildup, heart disease, and make you moody and prone to emotional outbursts.
Our body's mechanism to counter stress is the anti-stress hormone oxytocin. This hormone is sometimes called the love or cuddle hormone as it increases feelings of trust and emotional bonding. It also promotes eye contact, touching, stroking, cuddling, cooing or motherspeak and around birth it is responsible for triggering lactation and labor.
Dr. Khalid Mahmud, author of Keeping aBreast: Ways to PREVENT Breast Cancer, said in our local hospital magazine that a 10-minute daily breast massage has been found to increase oxytocin hormone levels by 100%! Oxytocin has been shown to remove free radicals and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.Other ways to increase your oxytocin levels include listening with your eyes when people talk to you (instead of being glued to an electronic device), meditation, giving someone a gift, sharing a meal, soaking in a hot bath, petting a dog, telling others you love them, hugging, massage, laughter, deep breathing, soothing music and talking to a friend.