Breast health has never been more relevant. According to Cancer Research, one in seven UK females will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and 23% of breast cancer cases in the UK are preventable.
We need to be as familiar with our breasts as possible so that we can quickly spot any changes taking place, ensuring that we remain as healthy as possible, thereby preventing damaging issues from gaining a foothold in the body. Katie Brindle, Chinese Medicine Practitioner and founder of Hayo’u Method, shows us how to give our breasts more love.
As a Chinese Medicine practitioner of over twenty years, one of the key things that I have learnt about breast health, and something I always advise my clients of, is the relationship between the breasts and the Liver. Healthy breasts largely come from having a healthy Liver. If the Liver energy or ‘qi’ (life force) isn’t flowing smoothly it can impact the breast area.
Negative tendencies of Liver emotions, such as anger, frustration or resentment – which gather as toxicity within the body – can adversely impact breast health. By clearing stagnation and emotional blockages, we can help ensure that any destructive energy from the Liver doesn’t progress into the breast tissue where it can create problems. Instead, we allow the uplifting, positive Liver emotions of kindness, benevolence and compassion, to prevail.
Another key organ to focus on is the Spleen. The Spleen works in tandem with the Liver to support good breast health. Breast concerns, including sagging and drooping breasts, are often a result of poor Spleen energy.
If the Liver is out of balance, it can exacerbate a weak Spleen, resulting in insufficient qi which then impedes the transportation of fresh nutrients to the muscles, weakens both the lymphatic and immune systems, and disturbs the “upright qi” – the force that counteracts gravity.
Harmonising the Spleen will help ensure our breasts remain firm and uplifted.
How To Care For Your Breasts
One of the simplest ways is to tap. Tapping, either with the Hayo’u Bamboo Tapper or a loosely clenched fist, is the ideal way to do this. The exit point of the Liver channel is just below the breast; so simply begin by tapping the underarm area, continuing down the side of the body to the waist, under the breast along the diaphragm, and around the abdomen – but avoid tapping directly over the breast tissue.
Tapping in this way will encourage the smooth flow of blood and qi, essential for overall good health, and invigorate the lymphatic drainage system so that toxins and stagnant energy can naturally flow away.
This specific tapping routine is perfect to do for a minute or two every day after your morning shower, combined with overall body tapping.
So often underestimated, self-massage of the breast area is an extremely powerful self-care practice. With firm, yet gentle pressure, begin tracing circles with your fingertips between the breasts for about 30 seconds, before repeating this movement at the point just before your armpit.
This is the point on the body where the channels of the five key organs (Heart, Lung, Spleen, Liver, and Kidney) either begin or end, so it is imperative for good health that this area is regularly cleared of stagnation and blocked energy.
Next, gently massage under the breasts with soft pinching movements before again returning to the armpit area and repeating. This will encourage toxins toward the terminal drainage points of the lymphatic system where they can then be safely eliminated.
Regular massage can also help to tone the muscles and tendons around the breasts, keeping them firm and taut and the skin healthy, nourished and plumped.
I always strongly advise my clients to avoid the overuse of antiperspirants. Perspiring is a natural way for the body to purge, so blocking our pores in this way is never a good idea. However, if this cannot be avoided then a very efficient solution is to regularly give yourself an armpit detox.
One of the easiest ways is to use blackened charcoal or bentonite clay mixed with a little apple cider vinegar into a thick, smearing consistency. Simply apply the mixture to the underarm area and allow it to dry for a few minutes before wiping away. The astringent and drawing properties of the mixture effectively remove any harmful chemicals that may be present.
Cold Water Therapy
Cold water immersion or even just a blast of the cold water at the end of your shower will be invaluable. It is an excellent healing technique to support the body by clearing toxins, inflammation and negativity, removing the need for the body to hold onto these blockages in the form of breast issues.
I cannot stress enough how valuable qigong is in supporting overall good health. Regular practice will ensure the smooth flow of qi and blood around the body, purging and nourishing of the cells, and strengthening of the organs to keep our bodies balanced and strong. 12 Rivers will be one of the most beneficial qigong practices as it addresses all 12 meridians, the energetic pathways flowing throughout the body, to balance the organs and emotions.
Gua sha is invaluable in supporting both Spleen and Liver health. Using the Hayo’u Body Restorer, gua sha down the outside of the leg, from the hip to the toe. This will stimulate many of the acupoints on the Spleen meridian. Then work down the front of the leg, from the front of the hip down to the middle toe, where the channel ends.
To support and soothe the Liver, use the tip of the Body Restorer to gently stimulate the corresponding acupressure point on the foot (LV3 or Taichong). This is located between the second and third toes, about two inches onto the top of the foot – gently rotate in small circles for about 30 seconds, breathing deeply and evenly.
IMPORTANT: If you have had cancer, lymph nodes removed, are still receiving treatment, or suspect that you might have breast cancer, then please do not tap or gua sha in the underarm area. It is also advisable to avoid gua sha or tapping directly over the breast tissue itself, regardless of your health.
Breast Health Summary
Healthy breasts need a healthy Liver and Spleen. Stagnant, negative Liver energy can impact breast health.
Understand the importance of Spleen health – supporting efficient “upright qi” to counter the effects of gravity, ensuring breasts remain firm and uplifted.
Clear stagnant energy by:
- Tapping – use the Bamboo Tapper daily all over the body, with particular emphasis on the breast area routine above.
- Massage – regular breast massage for specific elimination of toxins.
- Armpit Detox – effective yet simple detox routine to counter the effects of antiperspirant use.
- Cold Water Therapy – even a quick burst of cold water after your warm shower will be of benefit.
- Qigong – 12 Rivers routine to support and balance the organs and emotions.
- Gua Sha – use the Body Restorer to stimulate specific Spleen and Liver acupressure points.
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