by Heidi, 23, Goonellabah, New South Wales
I developed breasts at a young age and did my best to ignore their arrival. Into my mid-teens I usually wore loose fitted tops and compressing sports bras. My friends would often comment about the size of my breasts when they happened to see me in a singlet or fitted top. I could feel the comparison they went into and I was so bemused by their attention, and shocked at talk of wanting breast implants and finding bras with maximum padding.
Wearing sports bras most days continued into my early twenties. At the time, I enjoyed the feeling of a flatter chest as I thought it made me look skinnier. I disliked how my shoulders and upper body looked with a bra – I just felt top heavy and clunky. I had tried some strapless bras and found them horrible. Strangely, I wore them quite regularly. They cut in, jabbed me and made my whole chest feel hard.
The first time I even became aware of how I was with my breasts, was with a hug. I met a woman and when I hugged her I was astounded by how gentle she felt, how surrendered her shoulders felt, and how unimposing her breasts felt. This left such a lasting impression; I was so used to hugs that were brief, polite but reserved and just plain awkward. It was beautiful to have this marker, but painful to suddenly have a reference point to feel just how hard my body was. My breasts felt like boulders in-between me and this woman as we hugged. Let me clarify – this had nothing to do with their shape or size, but how they sat on my chest.
I shared that I loved the way she was and how she hugged. She then mentioned her personal story of having a couple of Esoteric Breast Massages (EBMs) and the difference they had made. Well, EBMs seemed a bit out there for me and it was not a prospect I was super excited about. However, almost 6 months later I moved to an area where there was a certified Esoteric Breast Massage practitioner fairly close by (the practitioner was female, as they always are with this modality).
Because of the impact of this woman’s hug, I decided to grit my teeth and see what an Esoteric Breast Massage was. Turns out it was intense, lovely, surprisingly normal and so, so, so beautiful.
It was intense because as I lay there I felt that my breasts didn’t actually feel like they were a part of my body. They felt like two inconvenient growths that I tolerated yet rejected. It actually felt like they were sitting on top of my body and not part of it – crazy!
Well, to my own surprise I chose to have a fair few more EBMs. I couldn’t believe that my body was constantly showing me how I was with myself and how I was living my life. I had never made a correlation between the feelings I had about myself and how these impacted on my daily life and choices.
What I began to see was that when I was stressed, beating myself up or hating on myself, my body would actually harden. Not just my breasts, but my shoulders would feel like they were raised and hard and my back would feel hunched and cagey.
On the other hand however, I was in awe as I discovered that these feelings in my body weren’t the norm or my default setting. Sure I had been living this way for ages, but it wasn’t actually me. EBMs allowed me to feel this inner contentment and peace that was so new and extraordinary, yet strangely familiar.
I was astounded when I began to feel my breasts become a part of my body. It may sound weird, but it’s like I had breasts for the first time. They felt softer, they felt like they were mine and they felt beautiful.
Just to rewind a little bit – it took a while to feel that. The Esoteric Breast Massages brought up a whole lot to feel and to be honest about. To be frank – it was intense. But I was brave… I chose to be open to the possibility that how I felt about myself and the thoughts I had about myself had real implications on my body.
And then I chose to be open to the possibility that I may have some stuff to deal with. I had to be honest and let myself register my self-talk. I took note of ‘popular’ thoughts like: my breasts are not the right size / shape, I’m disgusting because I don’t look like the girls that I had seen in porn or even mainstream media, I’m not pretty enough, not womanly enough… well, the list goes on.
I was also open to the fact that my body had to bear the brunt of how I took on other people’s feelings about me and my body. How my father no longer seemed as open to me when I started looking like a woman, how guys mainly seemed to want to hook up with me so they could ‘cop a feel’, and how friends were comparing and sometimes (dare I say it)… jealous.
It was confronting to realise that my body was a living testament to all my experiences. How I washed myself in the shower, the feeling of dread that came at the prospect of walking up to friends in swimwear, the way I chose to get dressed and the clothes I bought. The self-critiquing and self-bashing was so normal and ingrained into my behaviours for so long, that initially it didn’t even make a blip on my radar.
You know what? I have to give myself a pat on the back, because it was intense to feel all of these things and stick with it. Every time something really raw came up to feel and deal with, there was always a choice. Sometimes I would choose to not deal with it or be honest. Funnily enough when this happened, before I knew it I would be in front of the fridge eating. It was a relief to feel the rush of food subside my feelings and replace it with a sense of numbness throughout my body, with a side effect of bloating. However, most often I chose to allow these things to come up and then to let them go.
The reason I find Esoteric Breast Massages so powerful is not because of the practicalities of the massage – it’s actually about the quality of how the practitioner laid her hands on me. It has always been done with this enormous amount of professionalism, gentleness, love, integrity, respect and honouring of me. These qualities came across so strongly and I felt them so deeply. The EBMs were just like the hug, as it was their quality that made them so amazing.
What was most astounding is that this modality highlighted that I was not treating myself with such loving tenderness, while simultaneously confirming that I actually am that loving tenderness deep within.
I want to deeply thank the practitioners of the Esoteric Breast Massage modality. These women live with such dedication to their own self-love and their love of people that I was able to feel the possibility for so much more, and to live so much more.
Simply put, I cherish this modality.