Wise Woman Articles


Breast Care, The Wise Woman Way

by Penny Valladares

With so much media coverage and hype out there today, when it comes to your health, it’s hard to know what to believe. While doctors tell you to get your yearly mammogram, new medical research studies indicate that mammograms are inaccurate. The statistics on the numbers of women with breast cancer can be scary and unnerving. You can actually start thinking that the probability of getting breast cancer is more likely to happen, than not. What having healthy breasts really all boils down to is getting to know your body in a loving, nurturing, healthy way. Instead of invasive testing, I suggest self-exams and self-massage, for example.

My breasts are sacred to me and I want to keep them. I’m not comfortable putting my health care solely in the hands of someone else. So I started seeking information. I have come to know more about my own body than anyone else does by educating myself and using my intuition. Books and articles can help you get started, but then you must decide what information resonates with you, what feels good. The books and teachers that have taught me much about myself are few, but potent. The women writing these books are outside of the mainstream, not afraid to go against the tide of popular belief. Radical perspectives emerge by learning to trust your process in getting in touch with your own body.

Susun S. Weed, herbalist and Wise Woman, is the author of two of these books. “The New Menopausal Years, the Wise Woman Way” and “Breast Cancer? Breast Health!” These books have helped and guided thousands of women thru the uncertain terrain of menopause and breast health over the last several years. What we never learned from our mothers, because they were never taught, we can learn from the Wise Woman traditions handed down from woman to woman over the centuries and reconstructed by Weed, in particular. Susun has brought the art of making simple, practical herbal preparations into the light for the willing to learn for themselves. Herbal preparations that can be made from weeds right out of your own back yard with profound results.

The other book that has been of utmost importance for me and women all over the world is Dr. Christiane Northrup’s bestseller, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.” Dr. Northrup is a gynecologist and co-founder of Women to Women Health Care Center in Yarmouth, Maine. Christiane Northrup is a medical doctor in the technical sense, but her philosophy is very much outside of conventional thinking. Her premise is that you can “create” health on a daily basis and what you think and feel about your body dramatically affects it. Changing the basic conditions of your life that lead to health problems can cause you to heal faster and more completely. Northrup’s focus on connecting life style and one’s thinking process to health is a critical factor generally overlooked in western medicine.

In the search for knowledge and good practical information these books can be invaluable. I have listed several of the best tips and affirmations for creating and maintaining breast health suggested by these women, along with a few of my own. I hope these can serve as a guideline to a better, healthier, more empowered you. May you feel the confidence and security of knowing more about your beautiful body.

1) If your breasts could speak, what would they say? SW
2) Take off your bra. SW
3) Remember thoughts and feelings have physical effects. CN
4) Most women have one breast that is slightly smaller than the other. This is a part of nature’s imperfect perfection. CN
5) The vast majority of women will not get breast cancer. CN
6) Using herbal oils can dissolve lumps and bring relief to painful breasts. PV
7) Most breast lumps are harmless. SW
8) When it comes to matters of breast health, you are your own best authority. CN
9) Do your monthly breast check-in with the idea of just sending love into this area of your body instead of fear. CN
10) A powerful immune system can help prevent breast cancer. SW
11) Breast self-massage helps prevent cancer as well as detect it. SW
12) If your mother had breast cancer you need to understand you are not your mother. And you don’t need to follow that path. CN
13) There is no doubt that the most common type of breast pain occurs premenstrually and is related to the hormonal changes in your body that are part of your menstrual cycle. Don’t worry about it! CN
14) Eating shitake mushrooms can help lower the risk of breast cancer. PV
15) Women whose diets are rich in calcium (1300-1500 mg a day) from dietary sources have less breast tenderness. SW
16) Regular ingestion of live-culture yogurt improves digestion of calcium from all sources, helps prevent cancer and strengthens immune system functioning. SW
17) Be good to yourself and take a relaxing bath once a week. PV
18) Spend time with a journal. SW
19) Greek women consume lavish amounts of olive oil, goat cheese, and animal fats (up to 60 percent of total calories), yet have some of the lowest rates of heart disease and breast cancer in the world. SW
20) Love your breasts. PV

Remember: self-love is the best preventative. JS

(Thanks to Susun S. Weed and Dr. Christiane Northrup for their excellent information.)

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