An ode to our Breast friends
First guest post alert! My dear friend, Leslie Bish, is here spitting some real talk on boobies. Leslie is an illustrator, herbalist, movement instructor and all around kick ass human. In today’s post she is going to help us ladies understand the importance of self breast massage, our lymph in relation to our breasts and provide us with a killer recipe for her breast salve. Keep reading and let us know what you think!
When is the last time you gave your breasts some love? For as long as I can remember my only relationship with my breasts were forged during sex, or maybe a quick glance in the mirror when I noticed a size change during my cycle. And that’s about it. In our culture, breast massage is often affiliated with sex, but reframed, it can be an incredibly loving way to nurture yourself. Having a familiarity to our bodies is the best kind of self-soothing medicine we can call on. It’s also an amazing opportunity to check in with ourselves and really hear our needs.
Our lymphatic system functions as a trash truck of sorts, moving metabolic waste through the body. Comprised of a network of organs, blood vessels and nodes, one of these lymphatic drainage spots are concentrated in our breasts. When we’re stressed, our body has a harder time moving waste through the lymph around our bodies. During a women’s moon cycle, lymph drainage increases. Congested lymph can make PMS symptoms worse, along with a slew of other fun symptoms like headaches, fatigue, cellulite, acne, rashes, weight gain... etc. Energetically, deep-set emotions are held in the breasts. Can you imagine what havoc we can prevent in our bodies if we proactively move lymph while simultaneously offering nurture to our emotional storage units?
This is an invitation to tune into your body, especially during the chaos of the holidays when it feels like our time is not our own. Many of us don’t have a relationship with our breasts, we’re not aware of how they feel on a daily basis, we don’t know if our breast tissue is soft and palpable or hard and ropey. We may come across a lump that feels scary because we’re not aware of our persona anatomy! Solution? Give your breasts some love!
I made this breast salve to give my body some love and help drain stagnant lymph that builds up in the breasts during stressful times. I chose to infuse my oil with dandelion root since this herb has an affinity for the breasts, promoting relaxation of the tissues where we might notice our breasts feel a little “ropey” and lumpy. Dandelion root reduces cysts in breasts and clears minor infections. Dandelion flower softens these tissues, allowing the release of deep help emotions here, strengthening self worth and the immune system (Susan Weed). Comfrey root is a great healing agent for sore breasts, and calendula to keep breast tissue healthy and with time remove scare tissue. Take some time to check in with your breasts! Rub lymph down through armpits towards your heart, get into any ropey or tough tissues and give your boobs some love!
A gentle breast massage with an herbal breast salve daily helps to stimulate lymph while offering a chance to really check in with ourselves, releasing deep help emotions and stress stored in the tissues of our breasts.
Breast salve inspired by Susan Weed
One cup olive oil
1 tbsp beeswax
2 tbsp Shea butter (for both beeswax and Shea butter add more for thicker consistency, this will make an oily consistency)
One part dandelion root
One part dandelion flower
One part comfrey leaf or root
One part calendula flower
Optional add some relaxing/sweet aromatic herbs for relaxation such as chamomile, rose or lavender
1.) create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl or Pyrex container in a large pot filled 1/4 with water and bring to boil
2.) Turn the water down to simmer, add herbs to oil to infuse and extract desired constituents. Allow to simmer for 30 min -2 hours. Don’t let any water splash into the mix!
3.) Strain your herbs and oil through a butter cloth, let the cloth cool and then squeeze out remaining oil from herbs (this is the really good stuff!)
4.) Pour oil back into double boiler with beeswax and Shea butter, stir with chopstick until fully melted and combined.
5.) Dip a spoon into the mix and place in freezer for a few moments. This is a trick to test the consistency of your salve! If too oily, add a bit more beeswax and Shea butter or add more olive oil for a softer texture. If you’re happy with it, pour the mixture out into containers.
For a detailed resource for a lymphatic drainage breast massage technique, visit: