Recently, I have felt something changing within me, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I noticed that my cardigans seemed to be too big or not sitting well on the shoulders. They were like an oversized coat that no longer fitted my frame and I started to question whether it was my posture, or my weight. Both remained the same, but something else had changed. Yesterday the understanding came fully as I was booking in for my monthly Esoteric Breast Massage – a super supportive modality offered by women practitioners trained by Universal Medicine. Continue reading “Wearing a Cardigan of Protection”
Three days ago, I woke up with a frozen shoulder; I was unable to sleep the prior night or get out of bed. This has happened before, but this time, with the help of my amazing practitioner, Jenny Ellis, I really listened to the message being offered up. I came to understand the message along with fixing the actual physical pain. And this is what I discovered… Continue reading “A Frozen Shoulder: Thawing my Resistance to my Inner Quality”
I had heard from some women that I spoke to about having Esoteric Breast Massages, how nurturing and deeply honouring they found the sessions to be, so I was very much looking forward to a series of Esoteric Breast Massage sessions with a Practitioner who had been recommended to me and one whom I felt drawn to because of the deep stillness I could feel in her presence.
I have two of them and never would I have ever expected to be sharing the story of my breasts with the world, let alone celebrating the depth of beauty and Love they emanate and that I now live.
My True relationship with my Breasts began 9 years ago with my first Esoteric Breast Massage (EBM). At the time I was breastfeeding a baby and moving on from an abusive relationship. It could now be said that I was moving on from a long-standing, far more abusive relationship with myself.
I’d never realised how deeply ingrained self-abuse was, how insidious and foul – a stench that plagued me for as long as I remember and yet was a safe, known companion and the red marker pen which I branded myself with as ‘wrong’.
It seems strange to say this now, but once upon a time I had no awareness of my breasts other than as:
- a visible marker of my womanhood
- objects of sexual pleasure
- a physical inconvenience due to persistent lumps and soreness.
In truth, I was actually more annoyed by my breasts than anything else. At times I resented their visibility and the fact that I would be judged in some way when given the ‘once over’ by others (men and women). I certainly was not impressed by the lumps and pain I’d experienced since my 20s, which had me frequently rushing off for mammograms, convinced I had cancer. There was some compensation for these woes, in terms of the feelings I derived from them during sex, but even this felt somewhat hollow and certainly didn’t offset my physical condition.
I never really considered how I related to my breasts beyond them being a nuisance or an annoyance. Yes, I got attention because of these breasts of mine, but not in a good way, and I felt riled and annoyed each time this was happening.
I’ve always been conscious of my breasts, not in a proud or appreciative way, but as something I felt extremely awkward about, a part of me I was not exactly sure what to do with, and blithely ignored as much as possible. Plus, they hurt, especially during my periods and so they were often considered a nuisance.
For years I wore the wrong size bra, apparently and surprisingly up to 80% of women do, (1). The figure seems absurd, and yet many sources corroborate this. Imagine wearing the wrong size shoes!
Often with even the best breast care, it is commonly accepted that cysts in the body are not dangerous, even when they feel like a lump. On many occasions, with further examination the lump is found to be a small, generally harmless sac filled with fluid, rather than a cancerous or benign lump of cells – there may even be one cyst or many cysts appearing together that end up being benign.
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 walk into my first Esoteric Breast Massage session, butterflies in my tummy, unsure of what is going to happen and how I’ll feel. We talk for a short while then it is time to begin the bodywork part of the treatment. As I undress, gently and deliberately folding my clothes, my bra sits atop the small pile as the last piece to come off taking with it my cover, my protection – or so I thought.
For a moment I stand there exposed and yet strangely detached. I have shut out any feelings of embarrassment by putting on my “I can deal with anything” front. Even though the practitioner has encouraged me to allow fragility and express myself so that I am comfortable throughout each part, I have auto-piloted myself into the same disguise I wear when I have a smear test i.e. I lie back with my legs in the air and check out from my body for a while, I grin and bear it.
In 2008 I had breast cancer at the ripe age of 33, and now every year I choose to have both a mammogram and ultrasound as part of my overall breast care program.
Over the past couple of years I have become more aware of how I am as I go into having my mammograms. I realized that for the first few years, I would pretty much check out so as to not to feel what was really taking place – which is that your breasts are being squished several times uncomfortably between two glass plates!