Daily Preventative Care
1. Hydrate! Every morning when you wake up the first glass of water should be warm with a pinch of himalayan sea salt and a squeeze of lime. This helps detox the lymph system, the liver, and helps your body to retain the appropriate amount of water it needs for the rest of the day.
2. Avoid underwire bras and chemically derived anti-perspirant that will create a stuffy, stagnant environment.
3. Participate in seasonal cleanses to eliminate toxin build-up and rebalance the doshas. Keep things movin through!
4. Eat REAL foods. Eat these foods as organically as possible, with your uniqueness, seasonal changes, and any imbalances in mind. Focus on warm, cooked, spiced, and oiled meals.
5. Avoid caffeine, marijuana, and alcohol…! These substances are very dehydrating, which are atrocious for the reproductive system. If avoiding them seems impossible, understand how to always properly rehydrate yourself.
6. Exercise correctly: Ayurveda recommends to exercise up to half your potential or until a little sweat drips down your spine. This prevents fatigue and clears out toxins that may be stuck in your lymph system.
7. Cultivate a lifestyle that is appropriate for your needs. Besides diet, good rest, and tools to deal with stress and hectic situations (such as meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, calm walk outside, sitting by flowing water, etc) are incredibly vital in preventing disease.
8. Massage the breasts-the BEST thing we can do. Massage is effective at moving the lymph and therefore breast massage can ease discomfort, swelling, and blockages caused by stagnation. It is also the perfect therapy for all heart concerns as it eases tensions in the area where vata emotions like fear, loneliness, and anxiety get lodged.
In the table below each dosha is labeled with clues into their imbalanced states as well as self-care strategies to pamper them!
Ayurvedic Breast Massage
1. Dry brush. Use a silk glove to lightly, in quick strokes, ignite circulation.
2. Either start with a whole body self-massage with oil, or abhyanga if you have time, or just focus on the chest area. Use an oil that is appropriate for your dosha. Warm this oil to body temperature and maybe add some essential oil.
1. Make sure you stay warm! The oil will penetrate the skin much easier and you will stay relaxed if you are in a well heated room.
2. Before you touch any part of your body, especially your breast and heart area, remember to touch with love and compassion. The intention in your hands will leave an impression on your nervous system and you want that to be a positive healing energy.
3. Begin massaging one breast in a circular motion spiraling from the nipple toward the outside of the breast. Then begin at the nipple again and massage outward in linear strokes.
4. Massage the armpit and the outermost quadrant of the breast tissue extending to the shoulder joint. This is an area where lymph nodes are very concentrated.
5. Massage above and behind your collar bone from the shoulder in toward your neck in long strokes.
6. Repeat on the opposite side.
7. Massage the center of your breastbone, where your heart is, in a slow clockwise circle. Cherish every moment of this important self-care ritual and when finished cover your breastbone with your hands or give yourself a hug, and send them one last prayer of love.
8. Either wrap yourself in warm clothes after or take a comforting warm shower to allow the oil to deeply nourish your medha (fat) and rasa (lymph) tissues. No soap is needed as the oil has a cleansing property.
Breast Beauty Tips
Ayurvedic breast tea: licorice, rose, tulsi, fennel, lavender, hibiscus with honey
Lymph tea: 1 cup hot water with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon lime juice
Breast mask: use appropriate base (see above chart) and mix powdered punarnava, fenugreek, hibiscus, and licorice
Taking ayurvedic herbs such as shatavari, anantamul, fenugreek, or ashok can aid in menstrual/breast health. Remember, what is beneficial for you may not be for others so ask your Ayurvedic Practitioner today for your custom herbal formula!
“An Ayurvedic Guide to Breast Health,” Banyan Botanicals, last modified November 2014, accessed October 16, 2017, https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/health-guides/an-ayurvedic-guide-to-breast-health/#references
Alakananda Ma, Herbology Manual, Alandi Ayurveda Gurukulam, version 3 (May 2017)
Carolina Fernández-Lao et al., “Attitudes towards Massage Modify Effects of Manual Therapy in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomised Clinical Trial with Crossover Design,” European Journal of Cancer Care 21, no. 2 (March 2012): 233–41.
Ian S. Dayes et al., “Randomized Trial of Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy for the Treatment of Lymphedema in Women with Breast Cancer,” Journal of Clinical Oncology 31, no. 30 (October 2013): 3758–63.
Sukhee Ahn, Jinhee Kim, and Jungsuk Cho, “Effects of Breast Massage on Breast Pain, Breast-Milk Sodium, and Newborn Suckling in Early Postpartum Mothers,” Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing 41, no. 4 (August 2011): 451–59.
Edith Kernerman and Eileen Park, “Severe Breast Pain Resolved with Pectoral Muscle Massage,” Journal of Human Lactation 30, no. 3 (May 2014): 287–91.
Mark Toomey, “The Ayurvedic Approach to Breast Health,” Maharishi Ayurveda, accessed October 16, 2014, http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/pregnancy-motherhood-and-fertility/ayurvedic-approach-to-breast-care.html
Sushruta, Nidanasthana, chapter 11, verse 3.