Developing a True Relationship with My Breasts

From a very young age the only relationship I had with my breasts was one laced with despair, discomfort and shame. Having developed breasts from a young age I spent most of my life trying to hide their size and wishing they were not so large, as I didn’t like the attention that they attracted, particularly from boys and later on men.

It wasn’t until I had a breast cancer diagnosis in 2008 and being faced with surgery did the relationship I had with my breasts change.

The first change in relationship was that it was now based on fear – the fear of losing my breasts, the very breasts that I had for such a long time ignored and condemned. All of a sudden they were not so bad after all.

I had fear come up of what they would look like after surgery and how I would be perceived by others, in particular a partner, having been through surgery for breast cancer. Being young and single (33 at the time) I didn’t feel that it was fair that this was happening to me. I remember going to the beach just before having surgery and wondering if this would be the last time I would wear a bikini.

Throughout that year, my relationship with my breasts developed but it was mainly based on what was to come next after the diagnosis of cancer – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, examinations, mammograms and ultrasounds.

Having completed my treatment for breast cancer, the year that followed was one where I did have a greater awareness of my breasts, but that relationship was still very surface and mainly one of gratitude for having got through surgery and radiation without too much scarring (pun intended) both physically and emotionally.

This still was not a true relationship with my breasts.

Two years later and enter the Esoteric Breast Massage (EBM).

This was the beginning of a deeper connection to my breasts and what followed was a deepening of my connection to me as a woman.


The EBM supported me in developing a relationship with my breasts where I started to feel them as part of me and my body, no longer something that I just had because I was a woman.

From my very first session, where my breasts were so tenderly massaged by a highly qualified female practitioner in the most delicate and precious way, did I begin to feel my breasts for the first time and the energy that was held in them.

When I first started having sessions, much came up in what I felt from feeling the lack of regard that I had been living in, to the choices that I had made over my life to not truly honour the woman that I am.

Over time and with ongoing EBMs I began to feel the beauty and the deep self-nurturing that can extend from breast care, into the care of how I live in my day-to-day.

I have discovered that self-nurturing is not in an activity,  or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things.

With the support of the EBM, I have come to feel and discovered that my breasts are for me – not for anyone else. Their size and shape do not matter. What matters is how they are a constant reminder to me to offer myself the love and care that I and every other woman deserves. They are my self-nurturing centres and as I care for my breasts, I deeply care for all of me.

It is nearly nine years since my diagnosis of breast cancer and it feels like I have completed a cycle in my relationship with my breasts. I now love my breasts, not for what they look like, but for how they feel from the inside and how my connection with them has extended to deepen the connection that I have to the whole of my body. My connection to my breasts reminds me of the beautiful and precious woman that I am. They remind me of the love that I can choose to be, every single day.

In deep gratitude to Esoteric Women’s Health, the Esoteric Breast Massage and Foundational Breast Care for redefining what true breast care is and how a woman’s relationship with her breasts is a relationship well worth unfolding.

by Donna Gianniotis, age 42, Sydney, Australia
A gorgeous woman, Universal Medicine Practitioner, Yoga Therapy Practitioner and Receptionist

You may also Enjoy:

“For most of my life, I didn’t consider that my breasts were even part of my body …”  Discovering me through the Esoteric Breast Massage

When was the last time you stood in front of a mirror, naked, and looked at your breasts, absolutely without any judgement? …  What is your Relationship with your Breasts

Self Nurturing a key ingredient in Breast Cancer support  Can a Breast Cancer diagnosis change how women care for themselves? Sharon Gavioli, a registered nurse of 30+ years shares some great tips…

268 thoughts on “Developing a True Relationship with My Breasts

  1. Donna thank you for a beautiful story of having breast cancer and the relationship you have since developed with your breasts. It always seems to be the case that when we are diagnosed with something serious, we then pay more attention to that part of the body, but to know that we can have a relationship with our breasts that does not involve feeling uncomfortable is a huge revelation.

  2. There is a moment in this blog where Donna talks about breast massage and it is clear that there is a quality to it which makes it so profoundly special and that this is not a functional kneading of breast tissue, where tension and knots are forced out. The Esoteric Breast Massage is in fact the most delicate technique and one where the practitioner supports the client to release energetic blockages in the breast area so that their natural expression which is nurturing by its very essence can be expressed once again, without hinderance.

  3. It’s beautiful to read a woman sharing in this way. Not holding back how she loves and cares for herself. In this way you get to know that looking after ourselves is ok and not something to feel odd about. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It’s the most interesting thing that after having a program over the last year of Esoteric Breast Massages and working on re-connecting to my sacredness, fragility and tenderness through Sacred Movement classes, plus bringing more self love into my daily life, my breasts feel a lot fuller than they did before I started. I feel more full within myself too.

  5. A woman’s relationship with her breasts is a relationship well worth unfolding. Absolutely Donna, so much comes from having the EBM’s and you truly get to feel once again, your own natural tenderness. Simply divine.

    • So true Vanessa, it’s like a ripple effect, the more women begin to connect to their essence, the more it will expand out to all women. For me, this holds a great responsibility to deepen my relationship with myself as a woman, otherwise all women will remain lost and the power of women will remain hidden.

  6. I read that you have/are developing an excellent relationship with yourself that transcends all beliefs of what I woman should do and look like.

    This a great gift to any woman who sees you are a role model.

  7. ‘From a very young age the only relationship I had with my breasts was one laced with despair, discomfort and shame.’ I can so relate to this but how many other girls and young women can relate to this also? I am sure that if we were to ask women across the world this question it would be very clear how many of the world’s population of women grow up in self loathing and lack of self worth. To me this is crazy. I have an amazingly awesome and beautiful young daughter (aged 6). The thought of her growing up hating herself and her body is simply unthinkable and yet this is the reality for most…

  8. It is so true that we take our body for granted until we face the possibility that we could lose it or it stops working! I had a similar scare when it was discovered that I had pre-cancerous cells on my cervix, it came as a shock because this was the first time that anything potentially serious had happened to me, and momentarily my whole life flashed before my eyes! Everything we ever do returns to us at some point, so why not prevent rather than cure by loving, honouring and respecting ourselves, dealing with our hurts in an open, honesty way, expressing with each other and not holding back, and loving ourselves to the max, and building that relationship with our body, and that includes our breasts.

  9. Pingback: At 45, for the First Time in my Life, I Actually Love having Breasts! | Women in Livingness Blog

  10. Donna, there is something for all of us here as women to consider that every part of us is to be embraced, our breasts included – what resonates with your sharing is how much we put our breasts aside, how I have put them aside and how accepting and celebrating them as very much a part of my life has been life changing and very needed. So thank you for sharing your story and reminding all of us that ‘where I started to feel them as part of me and my body, no longer something that I just had because I was a woman.’ begins the relationship we can have with our breasts.

  11. A beautiful sharing Donna, I have also begun to feel the beauty from self-nurturing and being more accepting of my breasts and the whole of my body. I agree it is through the quality that we hold and move with ourselves that truly expands our self-nurturing and the way we live.

  12. For many years in disconnection from myself and knowing who I am, I was very self-critical with my body and especially my breasts, not liking the size of them and frustrated at not being able to find the right tops that would not accentuate them. I am now appreciating that through developing a far deeper connection and relationship with my body and my breasts size just does not matter and I love them as they are because I now truly feel they are a part of me.

    • How powerful can be just walk our way in full regard to our bodies, simply appreciating its natural delicateness and ourselves, not for how we look like, but for who we are? Simply this is already moving mountains. The reflection that we can offer to other women is huge. Another way to live where we can appreciate every cell of our body as the best messenger that we have 24 hours 7 days a week.

  13. EBM’S have allowed me the space to feel what I am not hard, cold, protected, and what I am loving, warm and an authority concerning being a woman.

  14. Prior to having Esoteric Breast massage I was very disconnected from my breasts. The only time I really noticed my breasts was when I was premenstrual and they felt heavy and swollen and tender and I just simply looked at them as a reminder that my period was due. Very functional. Your experience Donna is an incredible one for it documents most likely a very common experience for women, in terms of how we feel about our breasts. How this has evolved for you is very deeply healing and I am sure many women would love to hear your story.

  15. Feeling our breasts from the inside out rather than looking at them is a huge step. This I am only just beginning to allow myself to do on a regular basis, and this doesn’t require me to touch them in any way. It only requires me to connect to them through my body.

  16. this is so beautiful to read – and the depths to which we can explore connection with ourselves, far beyond the day to day patterns we play out, we can realise and live a life of connection and harmony knowing our part within the all.

  17. Our relationship with our breasts is integral when we understand the power, love and sacredness they emanate once a connection is nurtured. No part of our body can be ignored or abused without the body showing us the consequences, it will always bring us back to awareness and appreciation so it can continue to support us harmoniously.

  18. “I have discovered that self-nurturing is not in an activity, or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things.” I agree Donna, and in honouring ourselves by listening each moment to what our body is truly communicating we are able to truly cherish and nurture ourselves.

  19. Whilst reading your blog the old saying ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone’ sprung to mind. Women hold within their bodies the most divine nurturing light that emanates through their breasts and most of us don’t know it. We have been led to believe that our breasts are sexual objects and somehow quiet separate from our essence – but they are not. What I love about Esoteric Women’s Health and the Foundational Breast Care people is that they bring the truth about our breasts back to us before we have to re-discover it the hard way.

  20. I love what you say about self-nurturing not being about an activity or what we do in the activity, but that it’s entirely about the quality in which we choose to do things – anything.

  21. Having recently had a EBM I have discovered there is a part of me that wants to remain aloof from my body and be in the disregard of it by always rushing, driving, pushing and doing. It certainly doesn’t want to be with me in the stillness that I have discovered is also a part of who I am, the stillness is like a poison to it so it avoids the stillness at all costs!
    So now I definitely have a clear choice to allow the raciness in my body or connect to the stillness and in the stillness enjoy all the rewards that are given to me freely.
    Knowing that this other part of me, lets call it for what it is the spirit that separated from the soul will temp me with all sorts of indulgences so that it can reign supreme over my body thus avoiding the stillness it separated from in the first place.

  22. Thank you Sharon for sharing your development in relation to your breasts.
    We all get confronted ourselves with breastcancer or we know women who have.
    The way you built your relation with your breasts is our way forward as women. Then our future generation young women see a different way.

  23. “My connection to my breasts reminds me of the beautiful and precious woman that I am. They remind me of the love that I can choose to be, every single day.” This is a beautiful testimonial of the Esoteric Breast Massage.

  24. The EBM’s have also helped me to feel and connect with my breasts, ‘The EBM supported me in developing a relationship with my breasts where I started to feel them as part of me and my body, no longer something that I just had because I was a woman.’ I can really relate with this.

  25. Thank you Donna for sharing your experience with breast cancer and how EBM’s supported you to embrace the natural qualities of a woman and how your connection with your breasts has changed from looking at them from the outside to feeling the breasts from the inside out. As ‘They remind me of the love that I can choose to be, every single day.’ A timely reminder for me this morning to connect to my breasts and live the love I feel in my breasts.

  26. That is beautiful to feel Donna. Breasts being our self-nurturing centres, how true is that, as recently when I felt I was overwhelmed by life and I start to have self-doubting thoughts and didn’t like myself very much, all I did was to go back to my breasts and connect with them every night. I do a nurturing massage and with consistency this has begun to support the other areas of my body and my life. How powerful it is for women to have breasts and to connect with them.

  27. “This is very powerful…I have discovered that self-nurturing is not in an activity, or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things.” There is distinct difference felt and lived through the quality we choose to live in, be in and act from.

  28. Wow what a journey Donna. It is a sad thing that most women think poorly of their bodies and especially their breasts. I know I did and I have read so many accounts on this site that have repeated almost word for word the same story of how having developed breasts at a young age they would try to hide their size and wishing they were not so noticeable, as they didn’t like the attention that they attracted, particularly from the opposite sex. This in itself says a lot about the current state we are living in where young girls are objectified the moment they develop breasts when they should be honoured and celebrated for their preciousness as they grow into the sacredness that is the essence of a woman.

  29. Thank you Donna, for bringing awareness to the importance of connecting to and honouring the quality of self-nurturing our breasts offer. Reflecting on what you have shared I can feel how when we as young women are beginning to develop breasts we are essentially offered a deeper level of connection to our wisdom, our power and as such claiming ourselves as woman. However in society today we are generally not taught, shown, and reflected this. Instead we and our breasts are sexualized and often we go into protection, shut down and self-loathing or shame about our breasts to not feel the disrespect and reductionism we are met with. With this we miss the opportunity to embrace the empowerment being offered through self-nurturing and as such confirming the power of our sacredness as we grow into woman. Thankfully today the true meaning and understanding of our vital relationship with our breasts has been restored and is being lived and reflected today by many woman, all made possible through Esoteric Woman’s Health and Esoteric Breast Massage and the woman who have re-claimed this way of being for themselves.

  30. The EBM is a great introduction to reconnecting to the depth of beauty we hold within our breasts and our body. Developing a true relationship with our breasts allows us to embrace and honour the innate nurturing and precious loving qualities we hold within.

  31. Thank you for sharing Donna, this offers a huge insight into what a woman goes through when they have breast cancer and how we often don’t speak about this or have support in place for this. As a woman, I have found that the Esoteric Women’s Health modalities have provided me with an amazing level of support in learning to honour and nurture myself as a woman.

  32. This is deeply healing and beautiful to read Donna that no matter what our breasts are like or how we feel about them we can begin to develop and nurture a true relationship with them – thank you for sharing your amazing journey with this.

  33. It is incredible how much can come up to be felt in an Esoteric Breast Massage treatment. What is most powerful is that the session is not a temporary feel good or fix – the changes are forever and allow you to keep deepening your relationship with yourself as a divine woman and being.

  34. Thank you for sharing Donna, it must have been a huge shock for you to find yourself with breast cancer at such a young age. It is a shock at any age. It is a shame it takes such extremes like getting cancer to bring us back to ourselves . . . .This is gorgeous Donna . . . .“My connection to my breasts reminds me of the beautiful and precious woman that I am. They remind me of the love that I can choose to be, every single day”.

  35. “I have discovered that self-nurturing is not in an activity, or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things” . . . this is a great thing to remember as we can tick all the boxes and still be in disregard of ourselves and others.

  36. For a modality to allow you to feel the unloving choices you had been making and bring to light how you had not honoured yourself as a women, is quite extraordinary… for without this you would have continued with the disconnection and dislike you had of your breasts… and a relationship that was far from the deeply beautiful and inspiring one you now have that gorgeously reminds you of the beautiful woman you are.

  37. I’m beginning to learn to love my body as a mirror that shows me exactly how I’ve been living and treating myself. Too often I find myself exhausted and stressed, but instead of resenting my body for not keeping up with everything that I throw at it, I’m starting to respect it as the ultimate knower of truth that doesn’t let me get away with anything without consequences.

  38. How often I forget the incredible delicacy I have access to by simply connecting with my breasts… Thank you Donna for your reminding

  39. There is a big difference between caring for the self and the quality in which I care for the myself – nurturing which I have been pondering on recently. To nurture is to live in the natural delicacy that lies within me but before I live it there has to be a claiming of it within me. The delicacy where there has been moments of a deepening to it is forever present and all I have to do is acknowledge and accept it in full within me.

  40. There is often an area of our body as a woman we don’t like and this has a huge impact on how we treat ourselves and feel as a woman, especially so in relation with our breasts. Learning to deepen our relationship with ourselves and reconnect with our true qualities through the EBM modality is so worth it to be able to reclaim our true beauty and preciousness and cherish every part of our body.

  41. “What matters is how they are a constant reminder to me to offer myself the love and care that I and every other woman deserves.” Beautifully said and very true, the tenderness and delicateness of our breasts is a reminder af the fact that we are tender and delicate and need to nurture ourselves.

  42. Thank you for sharing so openly Donna. What I love about your experience is the way in which your life was transformed not by magic pills, surgery or psychology but by touch. We each hold so much power in the way we move, the quality with which we place our hands, and the energy that flows through. What if touch is the greatest language we speak? Certainly based on modalities like the EBM it makes me think we’d have a much more harmonious world if we embraced our natural sensitivity. I don’t mean touch in a sexual way but with respect, care and true connection. What if this is the greatest damage sexual abuse has done, to make us shy away from being tender?

  43. A true relationship with our body and our breasts within that is so essential our wellbeing. If we do not bring our body in to our awareness as whole being, rather than parts that we like or do not like, we cannot develop a sense of acceptance and contentment that that is in truth naturally there for all of us.

  44. Donna by reading your sharing I can see the enormous change that you have had experience. From being worried of the shape of your breasts to accept and ambrace them as the delicate and powerful centres of vitality that they really are. Such an amazing experience to be shared with every single woman in this world.

  45. Having a relationship of care and nurturing with our breasts allows that same way of being with ourselves in our day to day. This is an ever deepening process the rate of which is determined solely by ourselves.

    • This is very true Elaine. We can’t be rough with ourselves when we are in connection with this most tender part of our body. Our breasts immediately call for our preciousness. This is such a gift, not just for the woman but for everyone else as well.

  46. I thought for a long time nurturing and being a woman meant to have a bath regular, wear nail polish and do specific things. But ‘self-nurturing is not in an activity, or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things.’

    • So very true Monika. We can be very good at the ‘doing’ and the ticking boxes – we’ve done the shopping, the cleaning and got our nails done – kind of thing. Self-nurturing is not about that at all – far from it. Self-nurturing is about you being with you in all that you do – feeling you as the woman in your day as you move with whatever is needed at the time. And when you do decide to have a bath, or paint your nails, it is done with quality – with surrender, and the intention to feel a deeper part of you all over again.

  47. Deeply touching what you share Donna about your journey back to you and this most precious part of your body. Fear, repulsion and shame are common traits women will hold about their breasts and themselves – often unchecked and one could say unnoticed. It’s an appalling scar and abomination for women to carry.
    And so we need more of these beautiful sharings of women returning back to themselves, removing the debris of shame that’s been in their way for so long, and let the world see the woman in her purity, all of her, in full.

  48. This is worth repeating ‘I have discovered that self-nurturing is not in an activity, or what I do but it lies in the quality in which I choose to do things.’ I love this reminder Donna, often we feel self-nurturing is an act of some sort that ticks a box, as you say it is more than that as it is the quality in how we do everything.

  49. I agree Donna, self-nurturing lies in the quality in which we do things and the more attentive we are to the detail the deeper the self-nurturing and relationship we build with the whole of our body.

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