A woman’s breasts are a precious aspect of her sophisticated, multifaceted identity. Regardless of their shape, shade or size, they are the indicator of her first steps toward womanhood when they begin to swell; a tool for her sense of femininity or desirability as she begins to see others in a more sexual and romantic way; her baby’s miraculous food source when she becomes a mother; her having to face and embrace the changes that come from age when they start to sag and fall...
So when a woman faces breast cancer, it is not only a terrifyingly life-threatening disease but also a need to reckon with her entire identity as a woman. To re-envision herself and learn to love herself in new, perhaps more powerful ways.
This year during Breast Awareness Month 2019, I Am Vibes wants to remind you to love your breasts. Cherish, honour and protect them! If they are not “perfect” for you, diligently love and care for them nonetheless, recognise how amazing they are, mainly because they are a part of what makes you your unique self.
By now, thanks to social media, family, friends and our doctors, we all know the importance of having an annual breast check and mammogram, especially after the age of 40. Of avoiding or eliminating unhealthy habits like overeating and eating an unhealthy diet (a healthy weight and high-nutrition eating has been scientifically proven to help prevent cancers), smoking, drinking more than one unit a day, not getting enough sleep and allowing stress to knock your nervous system out of whack.
But what we don’t hear enough of is the critical importance of gentle, holistic self-care. Practising yoga has been shown to be a way of both preventing cancer and helping survivors experience more calm and faster recovery after operations or chemotherapy.
Yoga helps to balance the hormonal system (especially the fight-or-flight hormone of cortisol, which creates high stress), oxygenate the blood through breath, create tranquility and self-awareness through mindfulness and a heightened mind-body connection, and strengthen the immune system and organs. Likewise, Qigong and Tai Chi are also extremely beneficial to both the body and mind.
I Am Vibes wants to remind you to relish taking time for your yoga practise, for meditation, an aromatic bath with epsom salts, a delicious homemade soup, quality sleep, an aromatherapy massage, and a kind, loving smile from your heart to the breasts that protect the exterior underneath which it lies.
Similarly, in the spirit of kindness and care, always remember the women who are going through breast cancer, both those who didn’t get to survive and those who did and return to their normality, although nothing will ever be the same.
For your breasts.